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Chapter 1

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Michael Inzlicht

PSYC12 Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study of Stereotyping and Prejudice • humans have a tendency to form groups ◦ membership in a group can be restricted on the basis of special skills, family relations, gender, power, and other factors ◦ by doing so, their daily lives are easier ▪ eg. division of labor ◦ basic building blocks of society ◦ DISADVANTAGES ▪ mate competition and mate retention ▪ group members tend to favour their own groups (ingroups) over other groups to which they do not belong (outgroups) • even when group membership is based on the most arbitrary criteria (minimal group), people showed preference for members of their own group • may have adaptive utility from evolutionary and practical perspectives ◦ they form basis for negative feelings about other groups (prejudice) and for believing that certain characteristics are associated with other groups (stereotypes), often because the outgroup members are perceived to be antithetical to the ingroup's welfare or values ◦ may underlie more severe negative behaviour toward other groups ◦ negative attitudes form the basis for subsequent negative intergroup behaviour ◦ virtually all of history's wars, battles, and other acts of group violence have been driven by some form of prejudice, stereotyping, and/or discrimination Defining Stereotyping Lippman's “Stereotype” • tendency of people to think of someone or something in similar terms – as having similar attributes – based on a common feature shared by each • tell us what social information is important to perceive and to disregard in our environment • content of stereotypes is largely determined by the culture in which one lives Stereotyping: From Bad to Neutral • researchers regarded this as very negative, lazy way of perceiving social groups • seen as outward indicator of irrational, nonanaytic cognition • external sign of the stereotyper's moral defectiveness • Allport: stereotype is an exaggerated belief associated with a category ◦ others argued that stereotyping should be examined as a normal psychological process The Social-Cognitive Definition • Brigham defined it as a generalization made about a group concerning a trait attribution, which is considered to be unjustified by an observer ◦ controversial • Hamilton and Trolier: cognitive structure that contains the perceiver's knowledge, beliefs and expectations about a human group ◦ too broad and inconsistent with traditional definitions ▪ sounds more like definition of schema • Ashmore and Del Boca: set of beliefs about the personal attributes of a group of people ◦ more consistent but restricts the meaning to a generalization about a group of people ◦ most social-contiion researchers today define stereotype in this fashion Cultural and Individual Stereotypes • cultural stereotype: shared of community-wide patterns of beliefs • individual stereotype: beliefs held by an individual about the characteristics of a group • one's cultural stereotype about a group may not be the same as one's individual stereotype about the group • individual stereotypes are thought to be most directly related to that person's specific thoughts, feelings, and behaviour toward the group Is a Stereotype an Attitude? • Attitude: general evaluation of some object ◦ usually viewed as falling somewhere on a good-bad or favourable-unfavourable dimension ◦ three components: behavioural, affective, and cognitive ▪ majority agree that stereotypes represent only the cognitive portion of any intergroup attitude ▪ other two components of an intergroup attitude, affect and behaviour, correspond to prejudice and discrimination, respectively • Discrimination is negative behaviour directly toward an individual based on their membership in a group • Although a stereotype is not an attitude, an intergroup attitude is composed of one's thoughts or belies about, feelings, toward, and behaviour toward a particular group Positive vs. Negative Stereotypes • stereotypes are generalizations about a group ◦ no need resent being the object of positive stereotyping ▪ eg. all asians excel in math and science Defining Prejudice • can be taken literally to indicate a prejudgement about something • further level, it can suggest an evaluation, either positive or negative, toward a stimulus • finally, another definition is one in which the individual has a negative evaluation of another stimulus • an evaluation is an attitude Prejudice as Negative Affect • Allport defined it as an antipathy [intense dislike] based upon a faculty and inflexible generalization ◦ it may be felt or expressed ◦ may be directed toward a group as a whole, or toward and individual because he is a member of that group Prejudice as an Attitude • can be baed on affective (e.g.Anger), cognitive (e.g., beliefs linking hostility to the outgroup), or behavioural (e.g., avoidant or hostile) sources and can result in cognitive, behavioural, or affective expressions of prejudice ◦ best predictor of negative outgroup prejudice is a lack of positive emotions about it ▪ suggested that stronger, more obvious forms of prejudice are more likely to be baed on strong negative emotions, whereas more subtle types of prejudice may be based on an absence of positive feelings about the outgroup • Eagly and Diekman argue that prejudice is most likely to be displayed toward a disadvantaged group when that group tries to move into roles for which they are believed by the majority group to be unqualified • Critiques: ◦ if prejudice is an affect-based reaction to a stimulus group, then it cannot e the case that an evaluation of the group is the same thing as prejudice ◦ notion that prejudice has an affective, cognitive, and behavioural component is problematic because research shows that the three components are not always consistent Prejudice as a “Social Emotion” • Smith • self-categorization theory states that people view themselves as a member of a social category or group ◦ intergroup interactions will make salient (or bring to conscious awareness) particular group categorizations, depending on the nature of the group interaction ◦ strongly linked to one's self-identity ▪ when they are salient, any self-relevant information in the interaction has affective and motivational consequences • appraisal is a set of cognitions that are attached to a specific emotion ◦ emotion, in appraisal theory is triggered by an assessment o the adaptive significance and self- r
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