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PSYC12H3 (298)
Chapter 2

PSYC12-chapter 2.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC12H3
Professor
Michael Inzlicht
Semester
Winter

Description
PSYC12- Chapter 2: Origin and Maintenance of Stereotypes and Prejudice The formation of stereotypes  The brain automatically categorizes similar objects in the environment  Why do we categorize? o All humans have a limited-capacity cognitive system that cannot simultaneously process all the available information in our social environment o Categorize people and objects on the basis of shared features, time and space o Example: “blonds have more fun” Types of categorization:  Classify people along broad categories: basic or primitive categories o Race o Age o Gender  Bargh 1989- stereotypes are not automatically activated for all stimuli o Upon perceiving category words ( Hispanic, woman, accountant) we automatically think of associated stereotypes doe that category, but when seeing a member of one of those groups we do not automatically think of all the stereotypes for the groups In-groups and Out-groups  In-group: any group to which one believes he or she belongs  In-group bias (favouritism): the tendency to favour and have positive affect for, members of one’s own group, and to attribute more positive characteristics to one’s ingroups than to outgroups o Bias can affect criminal sentencing o Blair, Judd and Chapleau (2004)  White and blacks who have the same criminal histories received the same sentences.  However, within each race those with more ‘African’ features received significantly harsher sentences  Hamilton and Troler (1986) o Perceiving outgroups as all alike and our ingroups as diverse helps us satisfy two goals:  Greatly simplify our social environment by categorizing others in that way  Enhance our self-concept by thinking that we do not belong to a homogeneous, cookie-cutter type of group in which all members are similar in many dimensions  Rather we attribute great individuality and a host of other positive attributes to our in-group members  Outgroup: any group to which a person does not belong  Outgroup homogeneity: The belief that members of outgroups are more similar to each other than are members of one’s ingroups (“they all look alike”)  Minimal groups: a group formed on the basis of some ( sometimes trivial criteria , and which are otherwise devoid of the normal aspects of group life, such as face-to-face interaction, group norms, interactions with other groups and a group structure Social Learning  There is a definite link between the prejudice attitude of parents to their children  Value transmission in families o Parents are a first and powerful source of information about the world-> children are sternly influenced from this information o In the early stages of life (before age 10) children are essentially parroting the out-group sentiments of their parents o Biggest factor that influences the degree of parent and child intergroup attitude similarity was whether the parents exhibited Right-Wing Authoritarianism o High –RWA parents were attitudinally similar to their parents Implicit theories  Implicit theories: our individual beliefs about the nature of personality and the behaviours, attitudes and vales associated with certain types of individuals o Once we have categorized someone as having a certain characteristic, we are more likely to assume that that person has a whole host of related characteristics  Entity theorists- believe that one’s personality traits are fixed and cannot be changed o Thus because traits are fixed they are stable indicators of behaviour and behaviour is consistent  Incremental theorists- believe that one’s personality traits are flexible and can be modified How and Why Stereotypes are maintained  Subcategories: special separate cognitive categories for deviant (stereotype-disconfirming) members of a stereotyped out-group, so that a stereotype can remain intact o This is done because the stereotype consistent member of the stereotyped group is seen as unrepresentative of the whole group, so stereotypes that apply to the group do not appear to apply to the particular group member o Also enables us to maintain our stereotypes for the group in the face of stereotype- disconfirming evidence Illusory Correlations  Illusory correlation: The overestimation of the association between two variables that are either related we
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