PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Implicit Stereotype, Implicit-Association Test, Implicit Memory

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6 Feb 2013

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Chapter 3
Feeling Vs. Thinking In Activation and Application of Stereotypes
Major benefit of cognitive approach to stereotyping has been demonstration of important influence of
expectations about social groups in social judgments and attitudes and bheaivor toward outgroups
During period of cognitive dominance in social psychological investigation of stereotyping continued
Zanna and Rempel
o Argued that attitudes toward different attitude objects might be more or less determined more
directly the effects of positive vs. negative moods on tendency to stereotype others in social
Types of Intergroup Affect
Incidental affect: affect that is elicited by situations unrelated to the intergroup context
Integral affect: affect that is elicited within intergroup context and involves stereotyped outgroup
o Can also arise merely from thinking about the outgroup
Chronic outgroup effect: individuals should have rather stable feeling toward outgroup as a whole
Episodic outgroup: people have an affective reaction within an interaction with a specific outgroup
Chronic Outgroup Affect
Attitude object: anything about which one forms an attitude
Because any attitude has incorporated within it both cognitive and affective component
o Reasonable to suggest that affect associated with attitude is also enduring feature of evaluation
of attitude object
o Each time attitude object is perceived or remembered, evaluation will trigger beliefs and other
info associated with object as well as enduring feelings associated with attitude object
Affect that one feels toward outgroup as result of one’s enduring attitude toward outgroup can be
termed chronic outgroup affect
o Distinct from affective reasons to an interaction with a specific member of outgroup
Research shows that although overt form of hostility and prejudce toward African Americans may be less
prevalent, prejudice continues to exist in more subtle form
Gaertner and Dovidio
o Aversive racism: prejudice towards African Americans that characterizes many white Americans’
attitudes. Truly believe they are egalitarian and regard themselves as nonprejudiced
Possess negative feelings about AA
If possible in subtle way, may express negative attitudes toward AA et feel no affective
consequences (guilt, shame, etc)
Preserving self from threatening conflict related negative affect
o Suggested that anti-black affect has number of possible sources
Differences in physical appearance
People in ingroup are
1. Assumed to be more similar in beliefs
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2. Evaluated more favorably
3. Recipients of more positive behavior by perceiver than are members of
4. Found to be more attractive by perceiver
Central to low-prejudice individuals’ self concept is their belief that they possess egalitarian values
Negative feelings about AA are often kept out of awareness so that such feelings don’t threaten view of
themselves as egalitarian
When situation threatens to make negative feelings salient, low prejudiced individuals try to dissociate
themselves from feelings and often act more positively in ways that will convince them and others that
they aren’t prejudiced
When people feel negative affect, especially likely to describe racial outgroups using unfavourable
Particular negative affective state that’s been investigated most is anxiety
o Commonly experienced by individuals in an intergroup interaction
Stephan and Stephan
o Developed theoretical model of intergroup anxiety
o In model, anxiety has disruptive effect on behaviors, thoughts and feelings of outgroup member
and perceiver
o Anxiety can lead to increased stereotyping by perceiver, avoidance of future intergroup
interaction and attempts by perceiver to control others
o Amount and conditions of intergroup contact are crucial determinants in whether individual will
experience anxiety prior to, or during, interactions
o Minimal contact or contact characterized by conflict, individual will tend to feel more anxiety
prior to or during intergroup interaction
o Supports notion that anxiety may be common emotion felt among interactant s in intergroup
o Anxiety may promote stereotyping of outgroup members by an affective consistency process
(cuing more negative cognitions) or through increased reliance on expectances (and schemas)
regarding outgroup members as result of reduction in cognitive capacity
o Suggest that important determinant of type of chronic racial affect that perceiver feels in
intergroup context is degree to which outgroup member is culturally dissimilar from perceiver
o Identified 4 types of emotion that appeared to be strongly related to ethnic attitudes
Positive mood
Some research suggests that intergroup affect is a better determinant of attitudes and behavior toward
ethnic groups than are cognitions about ethnic group
o Others suggest that cognitions about members of outgroup influence how we feel about
Appears to be solid empirical basis for notion that intergroup context brings with it an emotional
component for interactants and that factors such as proximity and degree of personal contact in
intergroup context
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Episodic Outgroup Affect
Intergroup related affect can also be result of a specific interaction with a specific individual member of
Affect can also result from imagined interaction with individual from outgroup
Researchers are interested in what is termed episodic outgroup affect and believed that individual’s
enduring attitudes toward outgroup
May be possible to change negative chronic outgroup affect toward outgroup by opposing impact of
positive episodic outgroup affect
Incidental Affect
Feelings that have no origination associated with outgroup can be characterized as incidental affect
Pervasive theme in extent literature has been affect in one context can influence social judgments in
another context
Reasonable to suggest that incidental affect can subsequently influence individual’s proclivity to use
stereotypes in social judgment
Stroessner and Mackie
o Induced incidental happiness or sadness in participants b having them watch amusing or
depressing 5 minute clips of television programs
o Results indicated that both incidental sadness and happiness significantly reduced perception of
outgroup variability
o Incidental sad affect increased tendency of participants to use negative stereotypes in
descriptions of Pakistanis and native Americans
o Participants who felt incidental happiness were likely to provide especially favorable stereotypes
of own ethnic ingroups
o Incidental anxiety seems to facilitate use of stereotypes in making social judgments as well as
increase perception of outgroup homogeneity
Influence on Positive Affect
Positive affect appears to influence how people categorize others
Positive affect has been shown to reduce extent of systematic processing
People who are happy tend to process info less analytically; rely on heuristic cues, initial judgments,
decisional shortcuts and other simplifying strategies and more
Exception is that when happy people are confronted with outgroup individual who radically diverges from
outgroup, happy person has no problem giving up reliance on stereotypes in making judgments about
Research supports contemporary notion in social cognition research that people are more likely to
stereotype when they are under increased cognitive constraints due to influences such as distraction or
demands brought on by other complex cognitive processing
Research suggests that view may need to be revised
o If such effort were to have an effect on individual’s well being, ten individual would likely not
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