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Chapter 4

PSYC12 CHAPTER 4 .docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC12H3
Professor
Michael Inzlicht

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CHAPTER 4: THE PREJUDICE PERSONALITY:ARE SOME PEOPLE MORE LIEKLY TO FEEL PREJUDICE? -this chapter explores the ways in which psychologists have sought to describe and understand what might be referred to as the prejudiced personality—primary q: is there such a thing as a prejudiced personality? -also examine the many other individual-difference variables that tend to influence the tendency to use stereotypes or hold prejudiced attitudes PSYCHODYNAMIC PERSPECTIVES Authoritarianism -first attempts to examine prejudiced personality was put forth byAdorno et al. (1950)-- authoritarian personality: some ppl are conditioned to be esp likely to adopt prejudiced attitues—these ind's tended to grow up in homes in which the parents or guardians were strict displinarians, often using harsh discipline to keep the children from misbehaving and to punish them when they disobeyed the parent or guardian; they were more liekly to be simbissive to authority, to adhere strictly to middle-class traditions and valyes and to thinking v rigidly >these ind's hated impulses and were more likely to externalize these unacceptable impulses to others via projection (displaced to stereotyped groups making them believe they do not have these negative qualities) -so, the authoritarian's fear and dependence on the parents, coupled w their hatred and suspicion of them tends to be the impetus to displace or channel these unacceptable parent-related impulses and their own negative impulses into hostility toward minority groups -these characteristics can also be found in minority groups Character-Conditioned Prejudice -Allport believed these personalities emerged out of a crippled ego >ind's feel threatened, insecure, and fearful of virtually everything; in trying to overcome insecurities, person develops a prejudiced view of others as a way of prjoecting their fears and self-doubts onto others >also these ind' tend to represss their fears and insecurities to avoid facing anxieties and shortcomings; they possess same characteristics of authoritarian ind's: ambivalence toward parents, moralism, a need for definiteness and dichotomization Problems with the PsychoDynamicApproach -4 reasons 1) researchers become more and more critical of psychoanalytic approaches to personality 2) >Smith and Rosen found an inverse correlation bw authoritarian personality scores (higher scores on F scale) and a measure of world-mindedness: a concept that indicaes one's attitues toward and acceptance of ppl from other countries (low scores indicate greater intolerance); they suggest that their scale and the F scale measure essentially the same personality characteristics and yield similar results (ie the high scorer on the F scale tends to score v low on the worldmindedness scale) 3) >Martin and Westie suggested prejudiced personality is a result of intolerant personality: inds tended to be suspicious of politicians, intolerant of ambiguity, more superstitious, and inclined to beleive in mystical and bizarre defintions of reality; they score lower on compassion, sympathy, and trust 1. -->each research uncovers the same findings as those ofAdorno et al., but they do so w/o assuming the psychodynamic processes that were the supposed causal force in creating authoritarian personality methodological and other conceptual problems w the notion of the authoritarian personality caused many researchers to conclude that the approach was unsatisfactory under scientific standards the theory only explained the 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 twoard at least one other group –and did not account for why prejudice was stronger in some regiouns this perspective suggests that there is little hope for changing an authoritarian ind to be more accepting of others—this is bc they are not introspective and do not believe theire is anything about their personality that needs to be changed or improved RIGHT WINGED AUTHORITARIANISM -Altemeyer (1981) found that theAdorno et al. definition of prefacist (authoritarian) personality was quite vague—Adorno et al believed it was based on a constellation of nine related traits that were in fact very ill defined >however he discovered three traits “attitudinal clusters” which showed a strong relationship w one another 1) authoritarian submission: indicates a strong degree of submission to perceived legitimate authorities in one's society 2) authoritarian aggression: a general aggression and hostility directed toward outgroups, that is veiwed as acceptable by recognized authorities 3) conventionalism: a strong adherence to social norms and traditions that are perceived as sanctioned by recognized authorities 4) * he termed this constellation of attitudes right-wing authoritarianism -those who score high on RWAscale tend to be more conservative politically, wish to restrict personal freedoms and are more punitive toward criminals and hold orthodox religious views >also v prejudiced toward outgroups –and high correlate highly w measures of ethnocentrism and hostility toward homosexuals -high RWAind's tend to be prejudiced toward virtually anyone -Altemeyer: these inds are “equal-opportunitiy bigots” -RWA inds are fearful and self-righteous -where do these attitudes originate? Most children form rather authoritarian attitudes but for most kids, these attitudes and beliefs are modified with experience and they tend to be low on RWA by late teens however High RWAinds may not get these experiences and bc they have circles of like minded high RWAfriends, they do not appreciate the extent of their prejudice and RWAattitude—this lack of insight major reason why its not easy to change rigid attitudes -if some are confronted by this defect, they will attempt to change their attitudes in order to feel more attitudinally consistent and reduce cognitive dissonance -researchers claim prejudice finds a home in ppl w rigid ideologies -Cunningham et al found that ppl who are high in explicit prejudice are high in implicit prejudice RELIGION -research shows there is a positive correlation bw being more religious and having less tolerance and more stereotyped cognitions abt others -adherence to stricter religious scriptures comess w an increase in the tendency to think in rigid, either-or terms that partitions the world into a basic good-bad dichotomy -anything that works to inhint the considered processing of ino abt other inds increases the likelihood that one will rely on heuristics Committed versus Consensual Religiosity -it is important to assess how each ind particpant focuses and organizes their relgious beliefs, by doing this, we can get a much more accurate understanding of the relationship bw religion and prejudice -Allen and Spilka assessed religiosity on eight diff measures and obtained participants attitudes on various social issues -participants were coded as either having a committed religious orientation: one that allows an ind to hold a wide range of belief categories thru which on can evaluate the world and ones ideas abt the world and others tend to be more complex and open minded & consensual religious inds tend to interpret relgion more literally and concretely, tend to make more generalizations abt rleigious topics and are relatively unreceptive to diff ideas and opinions >this distinction useful bc it provides a more specific articulation of the relationship bw prejudice and religious beliefs Extrinsic versus Intrinsic Religious Orientation -Allport and Ross (1967): 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 relgion, live life according to these beliefs, and attend church regularly and tend to be more egalitarian -some critics exist: -research has shown that the measures of religious orientation and prejudice were self- report measures which becomes a concern bc of ppl tend to respond to attitude questionnaires in ways that avoid social disapprovial and gain social approval –esp on topics such as religious beliefs and prejudiced attitudes >Batson et al suggested that the association bw the intrinsic religious orientation and prejudice was influenced by social desirability Religion as Quest -Batson et al coined another orientation in regards to religion and prejudice, called “quest orientation” which is a process of questioning, doubting, and reexamination in response to the contradictions and tragedies of life >Quest orientation did not correlate positively w social desirability and higher scores on the quest orientation were negatively correlated w prejudice—and positively correlates w prosocial behaviour -where religious fundamentalism and prejudice were highly correlated, ppl who had a quest orientation showed little or noprejudice toward a wide variety of group -Batson et al found data to suggest that the low prejudice scores of intrinsic-oriented inds were merely an artifact of social-desirability concerns and when social desirability scores are accounted for in the analyses, the negative correlation bw prejudice and intrinsic orientation disappears >Batson et al designed a study w specific focus on examining prejudice via overt and covert measures and used an attributional ambiguity procedure to examine the prejudice of inds who had an intrinsic extrinsic and quest orientation : the basic procedure examines prejudiced responses to situations in which it is v obvious that prejudice is the basis for ones behaviour (the overt, unambiguous context) and in which there is a ready alternative explanation for ones behaviour (the covert, ambiguous context). White participants completed measures of r
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