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Chapter 2

chapter 2 PSYC12.docx

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Michael Inzlicht

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PSYC12 chapter 2 Original and Maintenance of Stereotypes and Prejudice The Formation of Stereotypes CategorizationStereotypes changes dramatically over the decades oStereotyping was once regarded as a sign of the moral deficiency of the stereotype or even as an indicator of repressed unconscious hostility1960s advance in cognitive psychology let to changes in understanding how mind perceives and processes information oFound that human brain seems to automatically classify or categorize similar objects in the environmentStereotypes were not longer regarded as product of lazy thinking by uneducatedthose with moral deficienciesPeople take Allports lead and regard sterotypes as nature consequence of cognition Why we CategorizeHumans have a limitedcapacity cognitive system that cannot simultaneously process all the available information in our social environmentSince we have a need to understandanticipate the behaviour of others humans have developed ways around our limited cognitive systemoOne way is to categorize oBased on Aristotles principle of association we assume that things are similar on the basis of one feature of because they occur together will likely have other notable similarities on a number of dimensionsTypes of CategorizationWhen we perceive an individual we tend to classify that person along a few broad categories race age and genderoWe do this as theyre the most immediate and obvious features of an individual as because these categories yield much information about useful distinctions in social behaviour between those in different groupsThis happens to quickly that with repeated use of categorization of an individual can become virtually automatic and nonconscious Basic categories are used so often in perceiving people that they are central points around with stereotypes developoIts been shown that giving a face showing race of a person to a person or words associated with a gender group will instantaneously evoke associated cognitions beliefs and feelings one has for that groupOthers suggested that stereotypes are not automatically activated for all stimulioSome research has indicated that upon perceiving category words eg Hispanic women accountant we automatically think of associated stereotypes for that category yet when we see a member in one of these groups we do not automatically think of all sterotypes for the groups racial gender age etc to which the person belongs Makes sense if label precategories object for perceiveroSo thinking of the category name eg women automatically evokes the associated stereotypesoHowever perceiving a face requires an individual to make a categorization and the categorization can fall on any of a number of different salient dimensions occupation gender age etcSuggested that the way the person categorizes a picture of an individual depends on the perceivers motivates cognitions and affectOnly when the perceiver wants to quickly evaluate the target in the picture do stereotypes become activated as a useful means of arriving at an attitude toward the targetIngroups and OutgroupsOne of the most basic ways we partition people in our social environment is into ingroups and outgroupsoHow you partition people in these groups depends on your current salient motivates fear goals and expectationsEg If Im at work the most salient ingroup would be professors Research demonstrates the effect of ones salient groups on perception and memory for social information oResearchers would that when participants were exposed to a discussion group of African Americans and Caucasians participants were generally accurate at
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