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Chapter 3

Prejudice Chapter 3.docx

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Michael Inzlicht

Chapter 3 Mood  Since 1970’s—research stereotyping has been dominated by a social-cognitive perspective  A benefit of cognitive approach to stereotyping has been the demonstration of the important influence of expectations about social groups on social judgments and attitudes and behaviour toward out-groups o Ex. Research showing that intergroup discrimination can originate from categorization  But even with all the cognition—some researchers looked at the role of affect in stereotyping o Development of several theoretical perspectives concerning the nature and structure of emotion  Traditionally emotions were thought to contribute importantly to the development and endurance of stereotypes  Affect influences the accessibility of constructs in memory and thus may determine which of many social representations are primed  Affect influences the extent to which the individual exerts information processing effort  Affect also becomes associated with social-group labels through learning processes  When affect and physiological arousal are associated with group members—they will influence o how information about the outgroup member is interpreted o whether the perceiver tends to interact with members of the target group in the future Types of Intergroup Affect  Distinction between incidental affect and integral affect o Incidental affect—affect that is elicited by situations unrelated to the intergroup context o Integral affect—affect that is elicited within the intergroup context and involves the stereotyped outgroup  Also arise merely from thinking about the outgroup  Chronic-outgroup affect—individuals should have a rather stable feeling toward the outgroup as a whole  Episodic out-group affect—affective reaction within an interaction with a specific outgroup member  Many studies use incidental affect but few examine influence of integral affect on judgments of members of stereotyped outgroups  Chronic-Outgroup Affect o Attitudes are traditionally viewed as stable enduring evaluations of an attitude object  attitude object—anything about which one forms an attitude o affect one feels toward the outgroup as a result of one’s enduring attitude toward the outgroup can be termed—chronic outgroup affect  Attitudes of White Americans towards Black Americans have been more and more liberal and egalitarian since 1960’s—easy to believe that Whites are less prejudiced and more egalitarian towards Blacks now than 30 years ago o But research shows that prejudice has survived in a more subtle form o Aversive racism—when a racist believes that they are egalitarian and regard themselves as non-prejudiced—BUT they also have negative feelings about Blacks  If they can do so in a subtle, easily rationalizable fashion, they may express negative feelings towards Blacks—but feel no affective consequences (guilt, shame, sadness)  Central to self-concept is that they are egalitarian—so their negative feelings are kept out of awareness so it doesn’t threaten their self-concept  When a situation threatens to make negative feelings salient—they will act in more positive ways that will convince them and others that they are not prejudiced o This anti-Black affect has a number of sources  Differences in physical appearance between Caucasians and African Americans (“people are taught to hate, but fear of difference is already there”)  Multiple affects of mere categorization of people into ingroups and outgroups has biasing effects  Social and Cultural factors—traditional cultural stereotypes of Blacks in US as lazy, ignorant, poor, dangerous  The affect usually associated with stereotyping is usually negative o Negative emotion often studied—Anxiety—commonly experienced in intergroup interactions  Stephan, Stephan—anxiety has a disruptive effect on behaviours and thoughts and feelings of outgroup member and the perceiver  Anxiety leads to increased stereotyping by the perceiver and avoidance of future intergroup interactions  Amount and conditions of intergroup contact are crucial determinants in whether the individual will experience anxiety prior to or during interactions with the outgroup  Minimal contact or contact characterized by conflict—individual tend to feel more anxiety prior to and during the intergroup interaction  Intergroup affect is better determinant of attitudes and behaviour toward ethnic groups than are cognitions about ethnic groups o BUT our cognitions about members of the outgroup  Solid empirical basis for the notion that the intergroup context brings with it an emotional component for the interactants—and that  Episodic Outgroup Affect o One’s intergroup-related affect can also be a result of a specific interaction with a specific individual member of the outgroup o This affect also results from the imagined interaction with an individual from the outgroup o Often have an impact on an individual’s chronic, enduring outgroup affect  Incidental Affect o Feelings have no origination associated with the outgroup can be characterized as incidental affect o Affect in one context can influence social judgments in another context  Incidental affect (arising in a context having nothing to do with intergroup attitudes)—can influence an individual’s proclivity to use stereotypes in social judgment  Experiment—get people to watch either sad or happy clip—then make them estimate outgroup variability—reduced outgroup variability o Incidental anxiety facilitates the use of stereotypes in making social judgments Influence of Positive Affect  Effects of positive emotions (ex. Happiness) on social judgment  Positive affect influences how people categorize others  Reduces the extent of systematic processing  People who are happy tend to process info less analytically—rely on heuristic cues, initial judgments, decisional shortcuts o MORE LIKELY TO USR STEREOTYPES in their judgments of others o EXCEPTION: When the happy person meets outgroup member who radically differs from rest of outgroup—they will willingly give up relying on stereotype  People who are more likely to stereotype when they are under increased cognitive constraints due to influences such as distraction or demands brought on by other complex simultaneous processing o BUT this might need to be revised  Little support for the idea that happiness promotes stereotypic thinking by constraining the perceiver’s capacity for more systematic thought o Happy people are just not very motivated to expend the cognitive effort required to avoid using stereotypes in intergroup judgment  Question: Do people stereotype when they are in a good mood because they don’t want to think carefully about the other individual (Motivational issue)—because the positive affect cognitively clogs their finite cognitive resources to individuate the target individual Effects of Negative Affect  Affect felt in most interracial context is often decidedly negative—even for “egalitarian” individuals  The most common negative emotions studied are sadness and anger o Angry participants make more stereotypic judgments o Sad participants did not differ from neutral-affect participants in their use of stereotypes o Mildly sad individuals engage in mores systematic careful cognitive processes o Anger and Anxiety—lead to increased use of stereotypes in social judgments  Sad people tend to seek and consider more information and process persuasive messages more completely  Sad subjects exhibit no decrements in memory performance—especially true when task is resource intensive  Tolerance for different political views—differentially influenced by anger Vs fear o When people feel anger/fear—less tolerant of other’s political views  Affect of fear mediated by personal threat & ingroup enhancement  Affect of anger mediated by moral outrage and outgroup derogation  Activation of information related to sadness leads to an increased reliance on stereotypes Motivational Vs Cognitive Capacity Deficits  Do people stereotype when they are experiencing a type of emotion because they are not motivated to use the cognitive energy it takes to individuate people o OR are people simply not able to think carefully about others because of decreased cognitive capacity  Positive mood—conveys message to us that because all is well in the environment, they do not need to focus on new information o They are motivated to maintain their good mood and avoid activity that negates it o Positive mood activates the abundant positively valenced material in memory— that material consumes the cognitive capacity of the individual  Negative moods create a diminished cognitive-capacity in the individual  BUT other study says—Negative moods affect the individual’s motivation to process information systematically Cognition Implicit Cognition  Cognition occurs outside of awareness—can influence behaviour and overt cognitive processs o SO…will low-prejudiced people stereotype others and show prejudice as aresult of unconscious cogntions?  Subliminal Messages o Subliminal—to perceive something without being consciously aware of the perception  Hidden picture in Vodka advertisement o Concept of subliminal messages was part of American culture for decades  People believe their behaviour can be altered through presentation of a message below the level of awareness o Study—subliminal self-help tapes  Switched the tapes of people who bought it (self-esteem for memory tapes)  People who thought they had self-esteem tape—rated better self-esteem o Complex subliminal messages (sentences)—cannot be detected below the level of awareness  BUT very simple symbols, sounds, or words may be perceived below the level of awareness Implicit Memory  Can talk about “unconscious”—because of cognitive neuroscientists research on amnesiac patients o For long time—thought that amnesiacs had inability to transfer information from short-term memory to a long term memory store o BUT results on implicit memory test—did as well as co
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