CH.3 Feeling vs. Thinking in the Activation and Application of Stereotypes
- A major benefit of the cognitive approach to stereotyping has been the demonstration of the
importation influence of expectations about social groups on social judgements and attitude
and behaviour toward out-groups
- Intergrp discrimination can originate from categorization, the context based salience of outgrp
members can affect how those persons are perceived and that biases in the way distinctive
info abt outgrp members is perceived can lead to an increased tendency to stereotype outgrp
- Zanna and Rempel argued tht attitudes toward different attitude objects might be more or less
determined by affective, rather than cognitive sources. Rsrchers soon began investigation
more directly the effects of positive vs. negative moods on the tendency to stereotype others
in social judgements
- Emotions were thought to contribute importantly to the dvlpmnt and endurance of
stereotypes. The history of intergrp relations is replete with evidence tht intense emotions
guide thoughts and actions of ppl in intergrp contexts
- Affect plays a major role in the way tht info abt social grps and members are processed. It
influences the accessibility of constructs in memory and may determine which of many social
representations are primed and which characteristics in a given representation become
- Affect becomes associated with social grp labels through learning processes. It may also
influence the extent to which the individual exerts information processing effort. When affect
and physiological arousal are associated with grp members, they will influence how info abt
the outgrp member is interpreted, how the perceiver responds to the outgrp member and
whether the perceiver tends to interact with members of the target grp in the future.
Types of Intergroup Affect
- Bodenhausen has introduced useful distinction btwn incidental affect and integral affect.
The former is defined as affect tht is elicited by situations unrelated to intergrp context
and latter is affect tht is elicited within the intergrp context and involves the stereotyped
outgroup. Integral affect can also rise merely from thinking about the out-group.
- Chronic out-group affect: individuals should have a rather stable feeling toward the
out-group as a whole
- Episodic out-group affect: people can also have an affective reaction within an
interaction with a specific out-group member
Chronic Outgroup Affect
- Attitudes have traditionally been viewed as stable, enduring evaluations of an attitude object
(anything about which one form as attitude like an idea, person, or object) which is true
for the notion of out-group attitudes.
- Allport defined stereotype as a fixed idea that accompanies a category - One’s outrp attitude was believed to be a stable evaluation of the outgrp and its members, it
was assumed tht any evaluation of the outgrp member in the future regardless of the context
would be direct result of simple recall of the perceiver’s stored evaluation of the outgrp
member because each time the attitude object is perceived or remembered, the evaluation will
trigger beliefs and other info associated with the object as well as enduring feelings associated
with the attitude object
- This process also holds when considering enduring intergrp attitudes. The affect tht one feels
toward the outgrp, as a result of one’s enduring attitude toward tht outgrp can be termed
chronic outgrp affect. This is distinct frm affective reactions to an interaction with a specific
member of the outgrp.
- Gaertner and Doido use the phrase aversive racism to describe prejudice toward African
Americans tht characterizes many white American’s attitudes.
- Aversive racists truly believe they’re egalitarian and regard themselves as non-prejudiced.
They also possess negative feelings about African Americans. If they can do it in a subtle way
they’ll express negative attitude and feel no affective consequences of guilt, shame or sadness
preserving self from threatening conflict related negative affect.
- Anxiety may promote stereotyping of outgrp members by an affective consistency process
(cuing more negative cognitions) or through increased reliance in cognitive capacity and it
may occur through a combination of each of these 2 processes.
- Djker suggests tht an imprtnt determinant of the type of chronic racial affect tht the perceiver
feels in the intergrp context is the degree to which the outgrp member is culturally dissimilar
from the perceiver. He identified 4 types of emotion tht appeared to be strongly related to
ethnic attitudes: positive mood, anxiety, irritation, and concern. More personal forms of
contact associated w/ decreased anxiety and more positive mood with an ethnic grp tht is
culturally similar to the Dutch perceivers and more negative with a grp tht was culturally
- Some rsrch suggest tht intergrp affect is a better determinant of attitudes and behavior
toward ethnic grps than are cognition abt the ethnic grp but others suggest tht out congition
abt members of the outgrp influence hw we feel abt the outgrp
- Intergroup context brings an emotional component for the interactants and factors such as
proximity and degree of personal contact in the intergrp context, physical and personality
characteristics of the outgrp members, and cultural similarity of the outgrp to the perceiver’s
ethnic grp tends to influence the strength and valence of the emotion felt by each individual in
the intergrp interaction.
Episodic Outgroup Affect
- One’s intergroup related affect can be due interaction with a specific member of the outgrp.
This affect can result frm the imagined interaction with an individual frm the outgrp
- This affect can also result frm the imagined interaction with an individual from the outgrp.
This intergrp related affect, or episodic outgrp affect can be similar or different in valence frm
one’s chronic outgrp affect toward the outgrp. - The rsrchers have been interested in wht is here termed episodic outgrp affect is tht it can
often have a strong impact on an individual’s chronic, enduring outgrp affect, and the
individual’s enduring attitudes toward the outgrp. It may be possible to change negative
chronic outgrp affect (and hence negative outgrp attitudes) toward the outgrp by the
opposing impact of positive episodic outgrp affect
- Feelings tht have no origination associated with the outgrp can be characterized as incidental
- Incidental affect (arising in a context having nothing to do with intergrp attitudes) can
influence as individual’s proclivity to use stereotypes in social judgement
- In a rsrch with tv programs inducing incidental happiness or sadness, it appears tht affect
induced in a context unrelated to the outgrp can have an impact on attitudes toward and
judgements abt the outgrp
Influence of Positive Affect
- Positive affect influences intergrp perception. It reduces the extent of systematic processing.
Ppl who are happy process info less analytically, they rely on heuristic cues, initial judgments,
decisional shortcuts, and other simplifying strategies and more likely to use stereotypes in
their judgments of others.
- Exception when happy ppl are confronted with an outgrp individual who radically diverge frm
the outgrp, the happy person has no prblm giving up their reliance on stereotypes in making
judgments abt tht target
- Bodenhausen et al conclude tht there is little support for the idea tht happiness promotes
stereotypic thnking by constraining the perceiver’s capacity for more systematic thought. If
such an effort were to have an effect on the individual’s well-being, then the individual would
likely not stereotype.
Effects of Negative Affect
- In rsrch on effects of anger and sadness on stereotyping, Bodenhausen et al found that angry
participants tended to mke more stereotypic judgments, whereas participants who were sad
did not differ from neutral affect participants in their use of stereotypes. Rsrch on sadness on
social judgements has often found tht midl sad individuals engage in more systematic and
careful cognitive processing of info and are less likely to rely on stereotypes than angry and
- Incidental anger and anxiety lead to increased use of stereotypes in social judgements
whereas sadness does not lead to an increased tendency to stereotype others
- The most common negative moods tht have been investigated are sadness and anger because
there are most likely to occur naturally in the intergrp context. Bod suggests tht although it is
likely tht the other neg emotions like guilt, embarrassment, anxiety, and fear may have a
similar influence on the tendency of individuals to stereotypes, it’s imprtnt tht rsrchers investigate influence on stereotyping of these diff neg moods (same with positive moods like
joy, elation, serenity)
- Effect of fear appears to be mediated by personal threat and ingrp enhancement. Influence of
anger is mediated by moral outrage and outgrp derogation.
- In 2 experiments, Ric found tht activation of info related to sadness leads to an increased
reliance on stereotypes. Non-conscious activation of info related to happiness decreases
reliance on stereotypes in social judgments.
Motivational vs. Cognitive Capacity Deficits
- It depends on which factor plays a role in stereotyping. Many rsrchers agree they’re linked
- Cognitive neuroscience psych found tht cognitive processes function outside of consciousness
and can influenc overt thoughts and behaviours
- Subliminal is to perceive something without being consciously aware of the perception to
- A rsrch concluded tht subliminal messages cannot be detected below the level of awareness
- For decades, it was blvd tht amnesics had an inability to transfer verbal information frm short
term memory to a long term memory store. But a study showd tht performance of amnesics
on implicit tests of memory like word stem completion is often virtually identical to tht of
- On explicit tests of memory (such as free recall or recognition- explicit because subjects are
attempting to recall specific words to which they were recently exposed) amnesics
consistently showed significantly inferior performance relative to controls
- Implicit measures of retention reflect unconscious learning, because amnesic patient is almst
alwys unaware t