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Chapter 9


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University of Toronto Scarborough
Michael Inzlicht

PSYC12 WINTER 2013 CHAPTER 9: REDUCING PREJUDICE INTRODUCTION  Jane Elliot (Elliot, 1970), conducted a prejudice experiment of blue vs. brown eyes in her third grade class in Iowa o Students participated as both the status group and the marginalized group and found that students had a better understanding of what it was like to be the target of prejudice and were much more willing to accept people of different cultures, races, genders, etc. o Students learn empathy for those who are victims, learn the negative impacts of stereotyping and are then less likely to partake in such harmful activities THE CONTACT HYPOTHESIS  Human beings fear the UNKNOWN  People tend to make assumptions about groups with which they have little contact, or about which they have little knowledge (i.e. their out-groups) which they have little motivation in correcting leading to stereotype formation  A way to combat this? Make groups get to know each other  Contact hypothesis proposes that increasing exposure to members of various groups can increase positive evaluations of the outgroup and decrease prejudice and stereotyping - very appealing because elegantly simple and intuitive Allport’s Contact Hypothesis  Contact hypothesis: Merely putting two groups together is sufficient for the reduction of stereotypes and prejudice – research has shown MERE CONTACT is INEFFECTIVE  Why? o Upon viewing outgroup member, stereotypes and negative affect are activated prior to interaction o Stereotype filters perception of the interaction in ways that are stereotype confirming about outgroup o Casual contact increases stereotyping then o Majority group reacts to such real or imagined pressure by feeling angry, threatened, and perhaps as a result of reactance, they then respond to the outgroup with even more negative attitudes  Allport thought: o Effect of contact will depend upon the kind of association that occurs and upon the kinds of persons who are involved o Factors: status of the members, role of the contact, social atmosphere, personality of interactants, and the situations in which the contact takes place  Allport specified that at least four fundamental criteria must be met in order of positive intergroup contact o Equal status members o Common goals o Intergroup cooperation PSYC12 WINTER 2013 o Support of legitimate authority  Amir has added that there must be a FAVORABLE climate for intergroup contact and the contact must be of an INTIMATE nature than a causal nature  Pettigrew added that the contact situation must have FRIENDSHIP POTENTIAL Tests of Contact Hypothesis  When Whites and Blacks were brought into contact in the work arena, each group reported more positive feelings about the other  Deutsch and Collins found that in desegregated public housing, equal status contact between White and Black neighbors resulted in more favorable attitudes of the White individuals towards equal housing policies  African Americans in a desegregated housing project had more positive attitudes toward their White Neighbors that did their segregated African American counterparts (Works)  Contact over a period of time (2 hour a day for 20 days) can significantly change intergroup attitudes (Cook) – up to 40% of the women showed a significantly positive change in racial attitudes toward African Americans  Problems are that as Pettigrew states, researchers have confused factors that are ESSENTIAL with whose that are merely FACILIATATIVE in intergroup contact o Research tends to focus on when and why contact will result in positive intergroup attitudes but not on HOW o Contact hypothesis doesn’t specify how positive feels towards an outgroup member in the contact situation can generalize to one’s feeling for the whole outgroup Pettigrew’s Reformulated Contact Theory  Pettigrew proposed a longitudinal model of how the optimal contact situations should proceed and of the change that need to take place o Individuals bring their own intergroup experiences, biases and personality traits to contact situation o Situation must have all four of Allport’s necessary conditions (equal status, common goals, intergroup cooperate and support of legitimate authority) + Pettigrew’s additional necessary condition of FRIENDSHIP POTENTIAL in order for any prejudice and stereotype reduction to take place o Group members will regard each other with initial anxiety but then begin decategorization, in which they begin to see each other in terms of their personalities and characteristics rather than their group memberships o Thus, outgroup category becomes virtually useless as heuristic o Established prolonged contact facilitates salient categorization, whereby group members begin to think of the outgroup members as representative of the outgroup in general and being to change their negative view of the entire outgroup o Recategorization – intergroup context facilitates breakdown of us vs. them distinct categories to form a broader WE category by making members of both groups aware that they have more in common on a number of other dimensions that far outweigh their differences in race, gender or other broad category membership PSYC12 WINTER 2013 o Little evidence on how recategorization leads to generalization of entire outgroup and few intergroup situations reach this final stage  Pettigrew’s reformulation of the contact situation is a promising model that not only integrates the somewhat disorganized research, it suggest future direction for empirical efforts  Model o A: Essential & Facilitating Situational Factors o B: Participants Experiences and Characteristics o A & C  C: Initial contact Decategorization (Initial Anxiety, Optimal Situation, Leads to Liking without Generalization) o C  D: Established Contact, Salient Organization (Optimal Situation leads to Reduced Prejudice with Generalization) o D  E: Unified Group, Recategorization (Optimal Situation Leads to Maximum Reduction in Prejudice) o Outside of all this Societal & Institutional Context and this progresses over time SHERIF’S ROBBER’S CAVE STUDY: THE SUPERORDINATE GOAL  Realistic Conflict Theory: when two groups compete for scare resources, prejudice and stereotypes between two groups will result o When groups are in conflict, they think of the outgroup in stereotyped ways and they begin to feel hostility toward the outgroup and greater loyalty to their in-group  Robber’s Cave Study o Two groups compete for a scarce resource o Cooperation between groups around superordinate goal resulted in reduced prejudice and outgroup hostility Common In-group Identity  Prejudice can be greatly reduced through the encouragement of superordinate in- group identities  Gaertner, Dovidio, Anastasio, Bachman & Rust, 1993 o Intergroup prejudice can be reduced by breaking down the salience of the groups’ category membership and by getting the groups to reconceptualizing themselves as all members of a larger common in group identity o When groups were made to feel more positive affect and made to feel groups were less distinct, they were more likely to view their own group and the other group as members of one large group with shared goals o Prejudice, serotyping and outgroup bias or in-group favoritisms was greatly diminished o Processes that lead to in-group favoritisms can actually be sued to promote a superordinate in-group identity and to reduce in-group/outgroup distinctions, thereby reducing prejudice  Common in group identity model works through DECATEGORIZATION and RECATEGORIZATION  There is some evidence that holding two separate group identities (in-group + common in-group identity) can lead to increased likelihood of prejudice and discrimination toward out-groups PSYC12 WINTER 2013 o Groups members tend to perceive their in-group as prototypical of the common in group identity, and this projection of their in group to the overall identity of the common in group led them to regard all other common in group member as even more different from them o This led group members to be more likely to hold negative attitudes toward the other in group members THE ‘CONFRONTATION TECHNIQUE’ OF ROKEACH  American Dilemma – White Americans have egalitarian beliefs but still harbor prejudiced tendencies and therefore feel a moral conflict  According to Rokeach, people should be dissatisfied with themselves (have feelings of guilt etc.) when they are made aware of this discrepancy within themselves and people should be willing to revise their prejudiced attitudes in order to alleviate their moral conflict and its attendant negative affect  Cognitive dissonance theory – when people experience inconsistencies between their thoughts and behaviors, they will feel negative arousal which will motivate them to choose the easiest facto to change to bring in line with the other facto and reduce the negative arousal o Usually change attitude to align it with behaviour  Data mixed on the effectiveness of the technique to reliably reduce prejudice and stereortyping  Altemeyer used the confrontation procedure with individuals high in right wing authoritarianism (RWA)  RWA people characterized by three features: high degree of submission, aggression and conventionalism o Tend to be highly prejudiced against everyone who is different from them such as homosexuals and Blacks o Most low and high RWAs ranked freedom ahead of equality o High RWA participant’s attitudes towards minorities and minority related social issues such as affirmative action did not change as a result of the personal value confrontation technique, compared with high RWAs who were not confronted with the value discrepancy o Like most people, when high RWA individuals realize a core discrepancy between their stated values and who they are, they show SOME willingness to change if not motivated by benevolent insight then at least by selfish desire to reduce their cognitive dissonance THE JIGSAW CLASSROOM  Aronson, Blaney, Stephan, Sikes and Snapp – conducted research in Texas elementary school to examine the effects of a new cooperative learning environment compared with the traditional competitive environment on the performance of Whites and Blacks and on their feelings about outgroup members o Typical school environment is competitive where students fights for attention and praise of the teacher and whites had a more advantaged educational experience and were therefore more likely to win in the competition for the teacher ‘s attention and praise which will further exacerbate the negative feelings each group had for one another PSYC12 WINTER 2013 o Aronson et Al created a interdependent cooperative school environment between Blacks and White such that individual competitiveness was incompatible with success and cooperation was the only path to success o Jigsaw system – each student was given a unique skill of piece of information and task completion relies on each group member being able to contribute and relying on each other’s contributions thus leading to intergroup cooperation o Interdependence reduced the need for competition and it also discourage ridicule of others in the group based on stereotypes, shyness and less brightness o In helping each other and being motivated to do so, their preconceptions, fears and stereotypes about the outgroup members slowly eroded in the light of these positive experiences o Results – Students from jigsaw classrooms liked their group members more than others in the classroom and  Black and White children liked each other more, self esteem increased and performance was equal to or greater than competitive classrooms  Cooperative jigsaw settings are very effective in increasing positive intergroup attitudes and behaviors and in decreasing stereotyping and prejudice  Results will be even stronger in situations where participants focus on getting to know the individual personalities of their group members  Research ahs shown that positive benefits could be further enhanced if o Group is successful o The outgroup members are seen as competent o Group members self disclose to each other o Group members are seen as similar  Beattencour et al – positive attitudes and reduced prejudice generalizes members of the outgroup other than those who were involved in the cooperative group experiences, facilitates individuation of outgroup members and reduces prejudice o If counter stereotypic information is spread across several out group members, they are less likely to be subtyped and the perceiver is more likely to realize the variability of the outgroup and therefore less likely to think of the outgroup members in stereotyped terms o If the countersterotypic person in the small cooperative group is seen as typical of the outgroup, generalization to the outgroup is more likely to occur o If people have time to consider the discrepancy between their feelings for the outgroup member in the cooperative group and their attitude toward the outgroup, they may be more likely to generalize their positive feelings toward the outgroup EDUCATION, EMPAHTY AND ROLE PLAYING  If one assumes that prejudice is largely enhanced by the LACK of information about the out group, fear of the out group and an overall lack of understanding of the perspective of the out group, the it would stand to reason that prejudice could be greatly reduced by educating people about out-groups, helping them understand PSYC12 WINTER 2013 what its like to be the target of prejudice and helping them begin to understand that the outgroup individual is entitled to the same rights and respect as the perceiver.  Evidence is mixed regarding the effectiveness of various cultural-training techniques, school courses and the liberal, tolerance-enhancing effects the college experience should have on people  Why are studies inconsistent? o Study design o No follow up o Based on simplistic models of attitude change  Studies that have low prejudice students honestly discuss their positive and negative evaluations of their own group and the stereotyped group, and when they cited stereotype-disconfirming examples from the stereotyped group, and finally, when they asserted that all people can have positive and negative qualities, those students who were high in prejudice tended to attenuate their prejudice toward the outgroup.  Under certain conditions, low prejudice students can act as PEER socializers and MODELS OF TOLERANCE and this can lead to prejudice reduction in fellow peers  Techniques designed to enhance empathy via roleplaying for the victim of prejudice has been more successful o When people are asked to imagine life from a target individual’s perspective, they are much less likely to stereotype that individual, and they show a decreased in group bias and more positive evaluations of the target person’s group o In the absence of continued salient anti prejudice norms, endorsement b authority of continued non-prejudiced attitudes and behavior and once people leave the role playing setting, people often revert to their pre empathy attitudes and behavior toward the outgroup THE COLOUR-BLIND APPROACH  Perhaps prejudice and stereotyping could be reduced if people were instructed to n
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