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Chapter 6

PSY220H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Implicit Stereotype, Stereotype Threat, Gender Role

Course Code
Heather V.Fritzley

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PSY220: Chapter 6 Prejudice (Lecture 5)
ABC model of Attitudes
Prejudice is the
affective component
feelings we have about particular groups
Discrimination is the
behavioural component
differential actions taken toward members of specific
social groups
Stereotypes are
cognitive components
beliefs about what a particular group is like
Stereotypes: beliefs and expectations about members of various social groups in terms of the traits or
characteristics that group members are deemed to share. The cognitive frameworks that influence
processing of social information
Stereotypes often function as schemasframeworks for organizing, interpreting, and recalling
Humans are ‘cognitive misers’ investing the least amount of cognitive effort as possible
Stereotypes save considerable cognitive effort to perceive the person complexly as an individual
Stereotypes often help us feel positively about our group identity in comparison with other social
Stereotypes: How they Operate
Stereotypes provide us within information about the typical or model characteristics supposedly
possessed by a group, and once activated these characteristics automatically come to mind
Stereotypes act as theories guiding what we attend to, and exerting strong effects on how we
process social information
Information relevant to an activated stereotype is often processed more quickly and
remembered better than unrelated information and more attention is paid to specific types of
Information inconsistent with stereotypes that manage to enter consciousness may be actively
refuted or changed subtle ways to become consistent
Dunning and Sherman (1997)stereotypes are inferential prisonsonce formed, they shape
our perceptions so that new information is interpreted as confirming our stereotypes
When we encounter someone who belongs to a group about whom we have a stereotype, and
the person does not seem to fit we do not alter our stereotype about the typical members but
place the people into a subtypea subset of a group that is not consistent with the stereotype
of the group as a whole
It is only when the person who disconfirms the stereotype in one specific way is otherwise seen
as a typical group member that stereotype revision occurs
This is esp. true when we repeatedly encounter members of the stereotype group who
consistently show this deviation
If disconfirming target is atypical, or extreme stereotypes are not revised
Kunda and Oleson (1995)college students read about counterstereotypic targets
Some participants given additional neutral information about target, others were not
Those given the additional information had a basis for subtyping targets while those that
were not given the information changed their stereotypes by generalizing
E.g. Lawyers generally all extroverted, ‘introverted’ lawyer would result in a subtype if
given the fact that they worked in a small firm

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Forming Illusory Correlations
E.g. actual crime behaviour is 10% in both a majority and minority group, research suggests that
you might form more negative stereotypes and perceive the minority group less favourably than
the majority with the same behaviour
Illusory Correlation: the perception of a stronger association between two variables than
actually exists
This formation of illusory correlation can partly explain why negative behaviours are often
attributed to members of various minority groups
Distinctiveness of infrequent events or stimulithese infrequent events are distinctive and
readily noticed, may be encoded more extensively than other items when encountered, and
when judgments about the groups involved a made, the distinctive events come to mind and
lead us to over interpret their importance
Out-Group Homogeneity: “They’re all the Same”
Out-group homogeneity: the tendency to perceive members of an out-group as ‘all alike’ or
more similar to each other than members of the in-group
In-group differentiation (heterogeneity): the tendency to perceive members of our own
group as showing much larger differences from one another than members of other groups
Individuals tend to perceive older people as more similar to one another than individuals in their
own age group ‘generation gap’
In-group homogeneity: in-group members are seen as more similar to each other than out-
group members are. This tends to occur most among minority-group members (preparing to
respond to perceived injustices)
Why the tendency to perceive members of the in-group as similarly united and homogeneous?
The fact that we have a great deal of experience with members of our own group and so
are exposed to wider ranges of individual variation, compared to less experience with
other groups
But, sometimes in-group homogeneity occurs and this might be because either the in-
group or the out-group can be perceived as relatively more homogenous, suggesting
that stereotype perceptions may have strategic elements with stereotypes being
recruit in the service of social motives
Do Stereotypes Ever Change?
Theorists have suggested that stereotypic judgments will be stable as long as the nature of the
intergroup relationship that exists between any two groups is stable
We generally hold stereotypes that are favourable to our own group, unless social
conditions shift in the extent to which such in-group favouritism is seen as warranted
and acceptable, unfavourable stereotypes of other groups can be expected to persist
Stereotypes serve as justifications for existing social arrangements, only when values and the
categorizations used shift, or our stake in the present status relations is altered, should stereotypes
Susan Fiskethose with more power are inclined to attend to information that is consistent with
negative stereotypes about members of subordinate groups
Members of subordinate groups because they need to be accurate and individuate
members of the powerful group stereotype them less
Gender stereotypes: stereotypes concerning the traits possessed by females and males and that
distinguish the two genders from each other (either positive or negative)
Women tend to display communal traitsfocus on others and relationships
Positively viewed as kind, nurturing and considerate

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Negatively viewed as dependent, weak and overly emotional
‘High warmth but low competence low in status and not a threat’
When a group is perceived as a threat to high-status groups stereotypes as low warm but high
People tend to feel more positively about women Eagly and Mladinic ‘women are wonderful’
Men tend to display agentic traitsfocus on the self and autonomy
Positively viewed as decisive, assertive and accomplished
Negative aggressive, insensitive, and arrogant
Women traits tend to be viewed as less appropriate for high-status positions, and appropriate for support
Stereotypes and the “Glass ceiling’
Glass ceiling: barriers based on attitudinal or organization bias that prevent qualified women
from advancing to top-level positions
Bulter & Geis (1990) although subordinates often say much of the same things to female and
male leaders, they exhibit more negative nonverbal behaviours toward women
When women serve as leaders, they tend to receive lower evaluations from subordinates
even if acting similarly to men
Especially negative evaluations when their leadership style is task-focused or authoritarian
When women violate stereotypic expectations concerning warmth and nurturance likely to be
Tokenism can refer to hiring based on group membership.
It can concern instances in which individuals perform trivial positive actions for members of out-
groups that are later used as an excuse for refusing more meaningful beneficial actions for
members of these groups
E.g. some women in high places may obscure the structural nature of the disadvantages that
women on the whole face, and women that do not achieve the same success might blame
This can be used as a strategy for deterring collective protest by disadvantaged groups allowing
even a small percentage (2%?) of low-status group members to advance into a higher-status
group deters collective resistance and leads disadvantaged group members to favour individual
attempts to overcome barriers
Tokenism can have two negative effects
1. It lets prejudiced people off the hook they can point to the token as public proof they
aren’t really bigoted. Presence of a token helps to maintain perceptions of legitimate/fair
2. Damaging to the self-esteem and confidence of the targets, including the few selected as
Benevolent and Hostile Sexism
Benevolent sexism: views suggesting that women are superior to men in various ways and are
truly necessary for men’s happiness positive beliefs about women’s finer qualities are often
agreed with more by women than men
This can keep women in subordinate roles by suggesting that their attributes make them
more suited for it
Hostile Sexism: negative feelings directly specifically toward women, especially when women are
occupying nontraditional roles
Glick et al (2000) examined the degree to which gender inequality is present in 19 countries
and found that countries with more gender inequality had higher rates of both forms of sexism
Sexism: discrimination based on gender; typically against women
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