Textbook Notes (368,150)
Canada (161,680)
Psychology (9,695)
PSYC12H3 (298)


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Michael Inzlicht

Chapter 2: Origin and Maintenance of Stereotypes and Prejudice The Formation of Stereotypes Categorization o The human brain seems to almost automatically classify or categorize similar objects in the environment o Stereotypes were no longer re: as the product of lazy thinking by the uneducated o Now stereotypes= a natural consequence of cognition Why do we categorize? o We have a limited-capacity cognitive system Cannot simultaneously process all the available info o We categorize people (and objects and ideas) based on shared features, time or space o Based on Aristotles principle of association We assume that things that are similar on the basis of one feature or b/c they occur togetherwill likely have other notable similarities on a # of dimensions i.e. Blondes; they are fun ppl, attract fun ppl, do fun things only sometimes are they rational (like a political candidates attitudes on various political issues) or illogical- hair or skin colour Types of Categorization o We tend to categorize people along a few broad categories: mostly on race, gender and age Most obvious + immediate = basic/primitive categories Process = very quick and with repetition can become virtually automatic and nonconscious i.e. merely being exposed to white/black face can evoke associated cog, beliefs, feelings etc. o There are suggestions that stereotypes are not automatically activated for all stimuli o Upon perceiving category words (Hispanic, woman), we automatically think of assoc stereotypes for that category, YET when seeing a member of one of these grps, we do not automatically think of all the stereotypes for the groups (race, gender, age) Which makes sense since category labels do not require the perceiver to categorize the object Once placed into a category a lot of information can be predicted (associated stereotypes) These associated stereotypes are automatically evoked and depend on the salient dimension (category we focus on) If you see a face, you need to categorize.and it can fall under a # of dimensions/categories (race, age, etc.)thus we do not automatically stereotype Only when the perceiver wants to quickly evaluate the target in the pic do stereotypes become activated as a useful means of arriving at an attitude toward the target Ingroups and Outgroups o Ingroup groups we belong to o Outgroups groups we do not belong to o Expectations of ingroups and outgroups can also depend on environment (expected behaviour at concert vs. at school) o You have diff ingroups (age, race, family, school, work) o Taylor (1981) Demonstrated the effect of ones salient groups on perception + memory for social info Watch a discussion between blacks and whites Asked to recall who said what Could attribute to race very well Recall to the specific individual not good In our mind we split up (black talk form white talk) People tended to remember info in terms of race categories instead of indiv identity o Outgroup homogeneity they are all the same Vs. our ingroup which we perceive as being unique o Those outgroup members who closely resemble ones belief of that groupwill more likely be perceived stereotypically than those with fewer stereotyped characteristics Ex. Blair 2004 study: Harsher jail sentences for races with more African features (typical of Blacks) o Ingroup Bias or Favouritism we are the best, we are also very diverse, not like the outgroup who are all the same o We greatly simplify our social environ by categorizing others in that way and enhance our self-concept (non-homo) o Some researchers: In favouring ingroups- we also tend to put down/attribute neg charac to outgroups However, research on this is not supported o Most research/literature suggests that it does not mean that we must also dislike outgroups o Purdue et al. (1990) Outgroup priming word (them) reaction time to negative descriptor NOT effected Ingroup priming word (us) reaction time to negative descriptor SLOWED Also note: the more an outgrp is seen as homogenous, the greater likelihood for perceivers to use group/stereotype labels to process info about this grp Leads to outgroup derogration + discrimination o Exposure to members of a stereotype outgroup can lead to both good (more heterogeneous) and bad (more stereotyped/homo) views depending on situation When outgroup does something bad.. They are all bad like that Stay away from them, they are bad But when member of outgroup does something good, it fosters more sympathetic beliefs about the group Not scared of outgroup, further interaction fostered o Henderson-King Study: Examined how white males would react to White or African American couple having an argument or a neutral conversation Wanted to see how it would effect interaction with a white or black confederate asking for directions Results: after watching Black couple argue, participants interacted with Black confed for shorter period of time Also found that if W partic saw a B person being rude to experimenter, they would avoid further contact with an Black person Even hearing about a B committing a crime can reinforce stereotypes for blacks.and perceieve them as less variable a grp than a group of Caucasians Positive encounters with stereotyped group = perceiver more sympathetic beliefs about grp...more interaction o Minimal groups The ingroup and our group distinction does not even have to be meaningful (racial, political) for biases to occur We can be aware that the groups were assigned arbitrarily, and still show ingroup favouritism, and outgroup derogation Even if a coin is flipped and groups are assigned Minimal groups lack these features of real groups Coherent group structure Face-to-face interaction A set of norms for the group members Interactions with other groups Tajfel (1971) People separated based on if they overestimate or underestimate number of dots People more likely to allocate more resources to ingroup members at the expense of outgroup members o Sherman et al experiments (2) Suggest that we Implicitly we remember positive information about ingroup and negative information about outgroup We conveniently forget neg info about our ingroup and pos info about outgroup o Boldry and Kashy research Outgroup homogeneity tends to be strong, but. Ingroup favouritism is not universal (as once thought) Sometimes people of low-status groups tend to show outgroup favouritism Sometimes those in high status groups only show ingroup favouritism on one of several dimensions Data above interesting: collected from naturally existing groups (i.e. junior vs. freshman college classes) Future: need to look at group status effect on perception of in/out groups Social Learning - Allport o Definite link btw prejudiced attitudes of parents + development of these attitudes in children o Authoritarian parents = expect child to obey, never disagree, keep quiet and were more strict disciplinarians These children more likely to develop prejudice attitudes o Note: taught-vs-caught distinction Explicitly communicated vs. implicitly (i.e. rents observation) Childhood Intergroup Contact o Based on an index of contact in Wood and Sonleitner 1996 study o People who had more interracial contact in childhood showed the least amount of stereotyping and were significantly less prejudiced Looked at neighbourhoods o Is their an age limit to this interracial contact? it has been suggested contact is needed at a very early age (before age 6) o Specific nature of contact- casual contact enough? (i.e. cashier of local store) o Criticism: index of contact is only a measure of potential for contact, not contact itself Value Transmission in Families o Racial attitudes are not inborn o Develop gradually over first few years of life (Clark 1963) o Most 3-4 yo show awareness of racial cues and have racial preferences
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