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Psychology (9,545)
PSYC12H3 (294)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Notes- Origin and Maintenance of Stereotypes and Prejudice

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Michael Inzlicht

CHAPTER 2: Origin and Maintenance of Stereotypes and Prejudice THE FORMATION OF STEREOTYPES CATEGORIZATION Cognitive psychologists found that the human brain seems to almost automatically classify or categorize similar objects in the environment. This led prejudice researchers to change their conceptualization of the nature of stereotyping. Stereotypes were no longer regarded as the product of lazy thinking by the uneducated or those with moral deficiencies. Stereotypes as a natural consequence of cognition. WHY WE CATEGORIZE Humans have a limited capacity cognitive system that cannot simultaneously process all the available information in our social environment. Because we have a need to understand and even anticipate the behaviour of others, humans have developed ways around our limited cognitive system. THUS, categorization. We also have the tendency to group characteristics with certain shared features. Like blondes have more fun. TYPES OF CATEGORIZATION Race, gender, age: major ways we first categorize someone because these are the most immediate and obvious features of an individual, and because these categorizes yield much information about useful distinctions in social behaviour between those in different groups. (BASICPRIMITIVE CATEGORIES) Basic categories are used so often in perceiving people that they are central points around which stereotypes develop. In MILLISECONDS, evoke the associated cognitions, beliefs, and feelings one has for that group. Others have suggested that stereotypes are not automatically activated for all stimuli. Macrae and his colleagues suggest that what the person categorizes a picture of an individual depends on the perceivers motives, cognitions, and affect. www.notesolution.comOnly 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 target. INGROUP AND OUTGROUPS How you partition people in these groups depends on your current, salient motives, fears, goals, and expectations. (PAGE 29) Individuals who are part of an out-group are perceived to share similar characteristics, motives and other features. However, when it comes to our own in-groups, we like to think that our groups comprise unique individuals who happen to share one or two common features (e.g. ones occupation) Out-group homogeneity In-group bias (favouritism) Perceiving out-groups as all alike, and our in-groups as diverse helps us satisfy two major goals: we greatly simplify our social environment by categorizing others in that way, and we enhance our self concept by thinking that we do not belong to a homogenous, cookie cutter type of group in which all members are similar in many dimensions. In favouring our in-groups, we also tend to put down or attribute negative characteristics to out groups. However, research has shown that the assumption that we derogate out groups is not necessarily supported. The dimension on which people are viewed as in-group or out-group members does not need to be a meaningful one (e.g. racial, political) in order for in-group and out-group biases to occur. Remember minimal groups (not the usual group structure) We rather implicitly remember positive information about our in-groups and negative information about out groups. It becomes automatic early in life. Boldry and Kashy: indicated that out-group homogeneity tends to be strong but that in-group favouritism is not as universal we thought. Their data suggest that group status moderates the tendency to engage in in-group favouritism, such that low status groups tend to show out-group favouritism and high status groups showed in-group favouritism only on one of several dimensions. FROM NATURAL GROUPS. SOCIAL LEARNING By age 5 children show distinct recognition of, and preferences for, some groups over others, (including race and gender preferences). www.notesolution.com
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