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Chapter 4

Ch.4 prejudice.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Michael Inzlicht

CH.4: The Prejudiced Personality: Are some people more likely to feel prejudice? - Before prejudice was seen as a defense mechanism and a projection of one’s frustrations, fears, and hostility outward against innocent outgroups PSYCHODYNAMIC PERSPECTIVES Authoritarianism - According to Adorn, some people have personality structures that are flawed in such a way that they are conditioned to be especially likely to adopt prejudiced attitudes. - They tested individuals and found these persons were authoritarians. They were likely to adhere to authority very firmly. They found these individuals hold prejudices against many grp (esp anyone diff frm authoritarian). They believed tht authoritarians hated deviant impulses (fear, aggression, sex) and more likely to externalize these unacceptable impulses to others via projection. So these unacceptable impulses are displaced to stereotyped groups. the authoritarian person does not believes they have these negative qualities but these undesirable characteristics are attributed to various minority groups. Character-Conditioned Prejudice - Allport bvld tht prejudiced personality emerged out a crippled ego. This individual feels threatened, insecure, and fear of everything they overcome it by projecting their fears and self-doubts onto others. In addition, Allport suggested tht ppl with a prejudiced personality tend to repress their fears and insecurities so tht they can avoid facing anxieties and shortcomings. This repression leads them to have same traits as the authoritarian individual Problems with the Psychodynamic Approach 4 reasons for decline of empirical interest in theory 1. Rrsrchers were more critical of psychoanalytic approaches to personality. There was an inverse correlation (high on F scale means low on world mindedness (concept tht indicates one’s attitudes toward and acceptance of ppl frm other countries) scale and vice versa 2. Methodological and other conceptual prblms with the notion of the authoritarian personality caused many rsrchers to conclude tht approach was unsatisfactory under scientific standards. 3. The theory only explained the presence of prejudice in a small subset of the population and did not explain why many ppl who did not have an authoritarian personality did show prejudice toward at least one other grp. Similarly it could not account for the fact tht prejudice was stronger in some regions than others 4. The authoritarian personality perspective suggests tht there is little hope of changing authoritarian individual to be more accepting of others. As they’re not introspective, they don’t believe there is anything wrong with them RIGHT WING AUTHORITARIANISM - Altemeyer found tht the Adorno et al. definition of prefacist personality was quite vague. Adorno and colleagues blvd it was based on a constellation of nine related traits tht were in fact very ill defined. - He found tht 3 traits seemed to show strong relationship with each other. these traits, which Altemeyer conceptualizes as attitudinal clusters are authoritarian submission, autho aggression, and conventionalism. Autho sub indicates strong degree of submission to perceived legitimate authorities in one’s society. Authoritarian aggression suggests a general aggression and hostility directed toward outgroups, that is viewed as acceptable by recognized authorities. Conventionalism is a strong adherence ot social norms and traditions tht are perceived as sanctions by recognized authorities - Altemeyer termed this constellation of attitudes right wing authoritarianism - He found tht those identified with high RWAs as measured by his RWA scale tend to be conservative politically, wish to restrict personal freedoms (they tend to endorse notion tht the bill or rights to be abolished for example), are more punitive toward criminals and tend to hold more orthodox religious views. They’re also very prejudiced toward their out-groups, high RWAs tend to show more prejudiced attitudes when their answers on the questionnaires are anonymous. They’re equal opportunity bigots. - Factors tht are strongly linked btwn RWA scores and prejudice are fearful and self- righteous. Experiences could lower your RWA but high RWA individuals may not have positive experiences due to lack of self-insight they may not change rigid attitudes and prejudices RELIGION - Rsrch suggests positive correlation btwn being more religious and having less tolerance and more stereotyped cogniions abt others. Some suggested tht reason is b/c with greater adherence to strict tenets of religious scripture comes an increase in the tendency to think in rigid, either-or terms that partitions the world into a basic good-bad dichotomy. - Soc cog rsrch suggests tht anything tht wrks to inhibit the considered processing of info abt other individuals increases the likelihood tht one will rely on heuristics when evaluating others. This early rsrch suggested tht there was a strong link btwn prejudice and intolerance and the type of thinking fostered with great religiosity Committed vs. consensual Religiosity - Allen and Spilka assessed religiosity on not one but eight diff measures, and they obtained participant attitudes on various social issues via 6 diff measures of social opinion. They also conducted an interview with each participant and coded the responses according to 5 cognitive components: content, clarity, complexity, flexibility, and importance - Based on these codings, participants were classified as either committed or consensual religious beliefs. Essentially, a committed religious orientation is one tht allows an individual to hold a wide range of belief categories through which one can evaluate the world, and one’s ideas about the world and others tend to be more complex and open minded. - Consensual religious individuals tend to interpret religion more literally and concretely, tend to mke more generalizations about religious topics (i.e., are more likely to make broad characterizations, and think in categorical terms) and they’re relatively unreceptive to diff ideas and opinions - Consensual religiosity closely associated with prejudiced attitudes, and committed religious beliefs were strongly associated with greater tolerance and non-prejudiced attitudes Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Religious Orientation Ross examined 2 diff types of religious individuals - Extrinsic ppl use religion for their own purposes, attend church infrequently, and tend to be more prejudiced toward others. Intrinsic ppl are those who have internalized the values of their religion, live lfie according to these beliefs, attend church regularly,
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