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Prejudice Chap Notes II.doc

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Michael Inzlicht

PSYC12 Chapter 6: Experiencing Prejudice SOCIAL STIGMA • Goffman stigma: possessing a characteristic that conveys a negative social identity o Marks the individual as deviant, flawed, limited, undesirable, etc o 3 types of stigmas: 1. Abominations of the body (ex: physical deformities, being overweight) 2. Blemishes of individual character (ex: drunkenness) 3. Tribal stigmas of race, nation, and religion (ex: prejudice against another race) GROUP IDENTIFICATION • High-identifiers associate themselves with in-group especially when it has a negative image/is being threatened • Low-identifiersdissociate themselves from in-group especially when it has a negative image/is being threatened STEREOTYPE THREAT • Stereotype Threat = negative expectations about ability (due to stereotypes about the group’s ability on a dimension) lead stigmatized person to experience anxiety at the thought of performing poorly and confirming the stereotype o This anxiety often inhibits performance and confirms the stereotype o Common in those who...  strongly identify with stigmatized-group  are self-conscious of their stigmatized status • Steele & Aronson o When African-Americans told that a verbal test was a measure of their intellectual ability -> performed worse than Caucasians; BUT when not told this -> performed the same o When stereotype was made salient -> AA’s performed worse EVEN when not told what the test was measuring • Walton & Cohen stereotype lift = non-stigmatized person performs better when they make downward comparison with a member of stigmatized group o Might explain why Whites still perform better than Blacks when have same abilities, etc • Quinn & Spencer when women told that a math exam was a measure of their math ability -> performed worse than men; BUT when not told this performed the same o When stereotype was made salient (was only woman in group) -> women performed worse • Disidentification = member of a stereotyped group disengages their identity from a stereotype-relevant domain, in order to preserve their self-esteem (ex: African American believes academics not important for his/her self-identity) o Believe that this domain is NOT important for their self-identity BUT it is important in general • Steele told women that difference b/n men and women in math ability either due to genetic differences (strong stereotype threat) or social/learned causes (weak stereotype threat) o Women under strong stereotype threat disidentified more with math careers (vs under weak) • Social Identity Theory = we derive out identity and self-esteem through our own accomplishments, and through our group membership o If one belongs to a devalued/threatened group  continued identification w/group threatens self-esteem may disidentify with in-group to protect their self-esteem • Lee & Ottati  negative stereotypes that are... o Inconsistent with in-group stereotype  in-group homogeneity  greater identification w/group o Consistent with in-group stereotype  in-group heterogeneity  less identification w/group • Steele  2 ways to reduce stereotype threat: a. Prevent disidentification of stigmatized individuals b. Enhance individual’s identification with the stereotype-threatened domain SELF-ESTEEM • Believing that one’s stigma is controllable  more likely to take on the blame for the stigma, feel that negative evaluations of themselves are justified, and to feel lower self- esteem • African-Americans have higher self-esteem than Caucasians (despite their stigmatization) b/c they compare themselves to other African Americans, NOT to society • Crocker & Quinn self-esteem should be viewed as determined by multiple factors/circumstances in given situation o This would explain the inconsistency in self-esteem studies (that stigmatized individuals can maintain self-esteem) Denial of Discrimination • One way stigmatized individuals maintain self-esteem deny that they’ve been personally discriminated against (but still acknowledge that their in-group has received discrimination) Self-Fulfilling Prophecy • Self-fulfilling prophecy = a perceiver’s expectations about a target eventually lead that target to behave in ways that confirm those expectations • Stigmatized groups actually believe they possess some negative characteristics -> b/c they’ve internalized the negative stereotypes attributed to their group • Major 4 ways for the stigmatized to maintain their self-esteem: 1. Attributing negative evaluations of others to prejudice 2. Devaluing outcomes on which their group compares poorly with other groups 3. Comparing one’s stigmatized in-group with other stigmatized groups (vs non-stigmatized groups) 4. Psychologically disengaging their self-esteem from feedback in domains in which their group is at a disadvantage INTERGROUP INTERACTIONS Dynamic Nature of Interactions • Devine’s Model of Dynamic Nature of Intergroup Interactions = must understand the dynamic live interactions between minority- and majority-group members o Typical intergroup interaction is characterized by a degree of anxiety o High-prejudiced  anxiety reflects discomfort with and preference to avoid minority group o Low-prejudiced  2 types: a. Intergroup skilled = had many intergroup experiences won’t experience anxiety minority-group member won’t interpret their behaviour as prejudice b. Intergroup unskilled = had few intergroup experiences will experience anxiety (b/c don’t know which behaviours are appropriate) minority-group member might interpret their behaviour as prejudice • Frablewhether ones stigma is visible or invisible makes a big difference in that persons interaction with a non-stigmatized person. o visibly stigmatized (ex: overweight) paid more attention to partner’s non- verbal behaviour o Invisibly stigmatized (ex: bisexual)  paid more attention to what the partner said o Non-stigmatized partners had negative stereotypes devalued stigmatized partner’s contribution -> confirmed their stereotypes Intergroup Anxiety • Hyers & Swim  African American women showed few negative thoughts/feelings/behaviours in the interaction (with European American women) b/c of their greater intergroup experience; also whether a woman was the only representative of her ethnic group DID NOT influence her reactions to others Meta-stereotypes • Meta-stereotype = a person’s beliefs regarding the stereotype that out-group members hold about their group • Sigelman & Tuch Blacks that have more contact with Whites are least likely to believe that Whites hold positive views of Blacks ATTRIBUTIONAL AMBIGUITY • Attributional Ambiguity: when individual has difficulty deciding whether the target’s behaviour was influenced by the situation or by the individual’s personality/attitudes • 2 approaches of stigmatized individuals: 1. Guilty until proven innocent: believe people react to you b/c of the stigma associated with your group 2. Innocent until proven guilty: believe people react to you unrelated to the stigma associated with your group • Kleck & Strenta participants in negative stigma conditions (scar and epilepsy) believed their conditions had strong impact on the confederate’s behaviours  believed they found them less attractive, etc but the confederates were UNAWARE of their conditions • Non-stigmatized individuals give more positive ratings to stigmatized individuals (vs non-stigmatized) o 3 possible reasons for these findings: a. Reflects true positive feelings b. Reflects unconscious distortion of true negative feelings c. Reflects conscious distortion of true negative feelings (social desirability) • Carver perceptions of stigmatized individuals are NOT homogeneous o Positive ratings of the handicapped reflected true positive feelings o Positive ratings of Black people reflected attempt to cover true negative feelings • Crocker o When stigmatized individuals believe that they were evaluated negatively based only on self-description (unseen condition) -> decrease in self-esteem (attribute this evaluation to their own flaws, etc) o When stigmatized individuals believe that they were evaluated negatively by someone who read their self-description AND knew their race (seen condition)self-esteem remained unchangedsituation was attributionally ambiguous  Resolved this ambiguity by attributing the evaluation to the perceiver’s prejudice  protected their self-esteem The Paradoxical Effects of Affirmative Action • When beneficiaries (ex: Blacks) and critics of affirmative action perceive program as unjustifiable BOTH react negatively to the program • 2 problems with Affirmative Action: 1. Unfair attempt to place preference on minority groups 2. Implies that minorities are inferior and need help from society (the majority) o Can negatively influence their self-esteem and feelings of competence Perceived Controllability of the Stigma • If stigma is uncontrollable (ex: race, gender) attribute negative evaluations to prejudice -> no change in self-esteem • If stigma is controllable (ex: being overweight)... o Feel less sympathy for and more disapproval of stigmatized person o Stigmatized person has decreased self-esteem and more negative affect  But DONT blame person for their negative evaluation -> blame themselves o Prejudice towards controllable stigma is more justifiable than towards uncontrollable stigma • Crocker when overweight women were rejected as potential dating partner -> attributed this to their weight (controllable stigma) BUT didn’t blame the men; also felt more negative affect, depression, hostility and lower self-esteem b/c of this attribution (vs normal-weight women) PSYC12 Chapter 7: Ageism Ageism = prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination directed at someone because of their age WHY FOCUS ON AGEISM? a. The baby boomers represent a large proportion of the population b. Ageism doesn’t receive a lot of attention from researchers studying stereotyping c. Members of the out-group (the young) will eventually become part of the in-group (the elderly) DOES AGEISM REALLY EXIST? • People have mostly positive views of specific older people (ex: grandparents, friends) but more negative, stereotyped, views of older people as a group • People have many specific ways of subcategorizing older people, but in general there are more negative subcategories (ex: vulnerable) than positive subcategories (ex: veteran) AGE STEREOTYPES: CONTENT AND USE • 2 types of ageism: o Benign ageism = subtle type of prejudice that arises out of one’s conscious and unconscious fears and anxiety of growing old o Malignant ageism = more negative & obvious type of prejudice where older people are regarded as “worthless” POSITIVE ATTITUDES AND POSITIVE STEREOTYPES • Bell media (TV) portrayals of elderly are depicting positive stereotypes (ex: Golden Girls powerful, sexy, etc) o Argues that these help to reverse the negative stereotypes • Positive ageism: prejudice and discrimination in favour of the aged  can have negative effects o Assumes that older people are in need of special care, treatment or economic assistance EFFECTS OF PSEUDOPOSITIVE ATTITUDES (Positive Stereotypes of elderly) Patronizing Language • 2 types of negative communication with elderly: 1. Over-accommodation = younger individuals become overly polite, speak louder and in simpler sentences when interacting with elderly 2. Baby talk = a simplified speech register with exaggerated tone, simplified speech and high pitch o When directed at baby = primary baby talk; when directed at elderly = secondary baby talk Patronizing Behaviour • Infantilization = belief that older people are like children, because of their (perceived) inferior mental and physical abilities Effects of Pseudo-Positive Attitudes on Older People • Infantilization creates self-fulfilling prophecy believe they’re no longer independent, contributing adults • 3 negative consequences for accepting this role (as a child): 1. Social status is diminished through decrease in responsibility & increased dependency 2. Society feels justified to use psychoactive medication, institutionalization or declarations of legal incompetency 3. Political power is reduced when elderly come to believe their ability to impact society is limited • Anxiety & negative expectancies toward elderly anxiety & negative affect performance deficits • Ageing affects the self in 3 ways: 1. Develop a stable self-concept 2. Reduction in social roles as one gets older reduces possibility for conflict between different aspects of the self 3. Focused on maintaining one’s self, roles, and abilities • Most older people have positive self-esteem & self-image (resistant to change or damage from others) • Atchley vulnerability to ageism, resulting in low self-esteem, occurs b/c of lack of adequate defences for the self AGEISM IN THE HELPING PROFESSIONS • Continued treatment focus on disease management vs prevention, decreased optimism about prognosis of medical problems in old age • Reluctant therapists = therapists are reluctant to treat older patients because of the stereotypes they hold about them (ex: older people talk too much, don’t make sense, etc) • Bias observed in delivery of psychological services to elderly may indicate healthism = stereotypes about individuals who are in poor physical health • Professionals need to... 1. Continually assess their own attitudes toward older people 2. Confront ageism and healthism when it arises 3. Implement geriatrics programs in hospitals and mental-health practices 4. Integrate knowledge of healthism, ageism, and normal aging process into training ORIGINS OF AGEISM • Gerontophobia: an irrational fear, hatred, and/or hostility toward older people o Based on fear of one’s own aging and of death o Displace these fears into prejudice toward older people, to distance themselves from aging/death Age Grading of Society • Age grading: the implicit and explicit expectations of society that specify what behaviours are appropriate and expected at a given age • Gerontocratic societies: societies in which older people are held in the highest respect and hold positions of power and leadership Theories Explaining Origins of Ageism Modernization • Older people have lost prestige and respect as society has become modernized (via industrial revolution) • Change in social structure emphasis shifted from extended family to nuclear family (no grandparents living in same house) • Older people were no longer rare due to improvements in medicine (people lived longer) • Retirement society’s way of attending to youthful, strong and fast workers • Experience in a position no longer valuable adaptation to new technologies/approaches more valuable Idealism • Older people have lost prestige and respect due to American and French revolutions sparked social & political change demanded equality & liberty • Older people no longer held in superior status because of their age • Change in values and beliefs no longer valued tradition/past innovation, change and new ideas were valued instead MAINTENANCE OF AGEISM Functional Perspective • Stereotypes of older people help individuals deny self-threatening aspects of old age • Possible Selves: our images of possible future selves that represent what we want to become OR what we are afraid of becoming (ie, member of the elderly in-group) • Thoughts of future in-groups can strongly influence one’s behaviour, thoughts, and feelings in present social context o Afraid of joining the elderly in-group in future, thus react negatively toward the elderly in the present Conflict • The parts of society are not working for the greater whole of society • Society is composed of competing groups (ex: rich vs poor) • Only some groups, NOT ALL, benefit from a social phenomenon • Stereotypes of older people serve the interests of the young and upper class Self-Esteem and Possible Selves • The more possible selves one has -> more easily can handle threatening self-relevant information • BUT older people have few possible selves (lose social roles as they age) o Cannot handle threatening self-relevant information decreased self-esteem Self-Esteem and Terror Management Theory (TMT) • Terror Management Theory: all human behaviour is motivated by the fear of mortality • Older people remind young of their awaiting mortality -> react negatively to elderly deny anxiety produced by thoughts of one’s mortality (and maintain their self-esteem) JUVENILE AGEISM • Juvenile ageism = stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination directed at an individual based on their youth • Denial of personhood of children cannot make decisions, do not work, are not intelligent, etc BELIEFS AND EXPECTATIONS ABOUT OLD AGE Beliefs and Expectations of Young People about Aging • Adults & adolescents consider older adult years as the worst time of their lives • Children few positive views of old age, have little contact with older people, fear old age b/c of its association with death Beliefs and Expectations of Older People about Aging • Young-old (55-75) associate positive characteristics to their own in-group o Young-old are active, economically independent, healthy, and still working -> possess NO negative stereotypes • Old-old (>75) associate negative characteristics to their own in-group o Old-old represent society’s negative stereotypes about older people o BUT old-old create special subgroups for themselves, treating “older people” as homogeneous out-group AGE DISCRIMINATION • Older people are not hired, not promoted to positions of more responsibility, or have employment terminated • Many jobs are based on knowledge & experience more than on cognitive skills (ex: reasoning) o Thus, older people with cognitive decline don’t have declines in job performance • 3 reactions of older people: 1. Accept their aging with confidence, optimism and an active lifestyle 2. Deny their aging by identifying with a younger age group 3. Avoid any age-related feedback altogether PROMINENCE OF AGE AS A VARIABLE IN SOCIAL PERCEPTION • Primitive categories = automatic categorization of individuals based on age, race, and gender; further attitudes about the individual are formed according to these categories • Perdue & Gurtman negative traits more accessible when “old” prime was presented, positive traits more accessible when “young” prime was presented o Conclusion: automatic ageism unconscious (primed) accessibility of negative traits for “old” o Problem: didn’t assess explicit attitudes toward older people -> may be implicit negative bias o Solution: some (low-prejudiced) show more positive attitudes on explicit measures but EVERYONE (low & high-prejudiced) shows negative attitudes on implicit measures • Stereotypes about elderly also trigged by physiognomic cues (facial features ex: wrinkles, gray hair) CONTACT WITH OLDER PEOPLE • Revised Contact Hypothesis: not the frequency of contact with older person, but the type of contact that determines how effective it is in reducing prejudice toward elderly Negative Schemas about Older People • Off-target verbosity: tendency to incorporate irrelevant information when interacting with others o No association between age and off-target verbosity o BUT evident in older people who are extraverted, socially active, unconcerned with other’s opinions of them, or feeling stressed • Painful self-disclosure (PSD): older people spend majority of conversation disclo
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