Chapter 9: Reducing Prejudice (p. 240-262)
- People tend to make assumptions about groups with which they have little contact, or about
which they have little knowledge about.
Contact hypothesis: the notion that bringing two outgroups together in a situation will result in
decreased prejudice and stereotyping.
- Research indicates that in many situations of mere contact, roughly 50% of the interactions felt
more positive about the outgroup, but about 50% of the time, people felt more negative toward
Allport specified four fundamental criteria for positive intergroup contact to occur:
1. Equal-status members
2. Common goals
3. Intergroup cooperation
4. Support of legitimate authority
Pettigrew’s Reformulated Contact Theory
- Decategorization: when people begin to see each other in terms of their personalities and
characteristics rather than their group membership.
- By individuating members of the outgroup, one realizes they are unique and comparable to one’s
- Recategorization: the intergroup context is configured to encourage a breakdown of “us” versus
“them” distinct categories, and to form broader “we” category by making members of both
groups see they have more in common
- Pettigrew’s reformulation of the contact situation is a promising model.
SHERIFF’S ROBBER’S CAVE STUDY: THE SUPERORDINATE GOAL
- Relating back to the boys camp experiment
- When two groups completed for scarce resources, prejudice and stereotypes between the two
groups will result.
Robber’s Cave study: Sheriff’s classic study that found support for the realistic-conflict theory and that
also demonstrated how giving prejudiced groups a superordinate goal can greatly reduce prejudice by
blurring the lines between ingroup and outgroup membership. Superordinate goal: a task that requires the cooperation and efforts of two or more individuals to be
- Sheriff’s study showed that prejudice and outgroup hostility can be caused by competition, but
can be greatly reduced via intergroup cooperation on a superordinate goal.
Common Ingroup Identity
- Prejudice can be greatly reduced through the encouragement of superordinate ingroup identities.
- Intergroup prejudice can be reduced by breaking down the salience of the groups’ category
membership and by getting the groups to reconceptualise themselves as all members of a larger,
common ingroup identity.
- However, holding two separate group identities can lead to increased likelihood of prejudice and
discrimination toward outgroups.
THE “CONFRONTATION TECHNIQUE” OF ROKEACH
Cognitive-dissonance theory: states that inconsistent thoughts and/or behaviours bring about negative
arousal. The arousal will motivate the individual to change one, or both of the inconsistencies in order to
make them consistent and to reduce the negative arousal.
- RWA individuals are characterized by three main features: a) high degree of submission, b)
aggression, and c) conventionalism.
- RWA’s are highly prejudiced to anyone that is different than them.
THE JIGSAW CLASSROOM
- Researchers made individual competiveness incomparable with success and set up the classroom
such that success only resulted from cooperation.
Jigsaw system: technique for prejudice reduction in which outgroups are formed into small, cooperative,
and interdependent groups that are working toward a common goal. Each group comprises an equal
number of ingroup and outgroup members who contribute equally to the task success.
- Children ended up liking their group members more than others in the classroom.
- Cooperative jigsaw settings are very eff