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Chapter 2

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University of Toronto St. George
Michael Inzlicht

Chapter 2 Origin And Maintenance of Stereotypes and Prejudice The Formation of Stereotypes Categorization  Stereotyping was once regarded as sign of moral deficiency of stereotyper, or as indicator of repressed  Cognitive psychologists found that human brain seems to almost automatically classify or categorize similar objects in environment Why We Categorize  When we encounter person, tend to automatically assess that person on basis of our perception of that person’s features  Reason for categorization is that humans have limited capacity cognitive system that can’t simultaneously process all available info in social environment  We categorize people on basis of shared features, or even shared time and space  Based on Aristotle principle of association, assume that things that are similar on basis of one feature or because they occur together will likely have other notable similarities on number of dimensions Types of Categorization  When perceive individual, tend to classify person along few broad categories: race, gender, and age o Major ways because these are most immediate and obvious features of an individual and because they yield much info about distinctions in social behavior between different groups  Basic categories used so often in perceiving people that they are central points around which stereotypes develop  Others have suggested that stereotypes aren’t automatically activated for stimuli  Some research suggests that upon perceiving category words (Hispanic, women, etc.), we automatically think of associated stereotypes for that category o Thinking of category name, automatically evokes associated stereotypes  Macrae o Suggest that way person categorizes picture of individual depends on perceiver’s motives, cognitions and affect  Only when perceiver wants to quickly evaluate target in picture do stereotypes become activated as useful means of arriving at attitude Ingroups and Outgroups  Ingroups: groups to which we belong  Outgroups: groups to which we don’t belong  Taylor o Demonstrated effect of one’s salient groups on perception and memory for social info o Appears that people tended to perceive and remember info in terms of race categories and not in terms of individual identity  Individuals in outgroup perceived to share similar characteristics, motives and other features  Blair, Judd, and Chapleau o Found that whites and blacks who had same criminal histories received same sentences. o However, within each race, those with more “African” features (typical of Blacks) received significantly harsher sentences  Outgroup homogeneity: belief that members of outgroups are more similar to each other than members of one’s ingroups  Ingroup bias (favoritism): tendency to favor and have positive affect for, members of one’s own group and to attribute more positive characteristics to one’s ingroups than to outgroups  Perceiving outgroups as all alike and ingroups as divers helps satisfy 2 major goals o Greatly simplify social environment by categorizing others in that way o Enhancing self concept by thinking that we don’t belong to homogeneous dimensions  Brewer o Research showed that assumption that we derogate outgroups is not supported o Research indicates that favoring ingroups doesn’t necessarily mean we also must dislike outgroups  Exposure to members of stereotyped outgroup can lead to either more homogeneous (and more stereotyped) or heterogeneous (and more positive) view on outgroup  Henderston-King o Examined how white males would react to white or African American couple having argument or neutral conversation o Results indicated that after watching Black couple argue, participants interacted with Black confederate for shorter period of time  Dimension on which people are views as ingroup or outgroup members does notneed to be meaningful one in order for ingroup and outgroup bias to occur  Minimal groups: group formed on basis of some criteria and which are otherwise devoid of nominal aspects of group life (face to race interaction, group norms, interactions with other groups and group structure)  Research found that even when people are arbitrarily assigned to group, display ingroup favoritism or  Sherman, Klein, Laskey and Wyer o Suggest that we rather implicitly and negative info about outgroups o Tend to explain away or otherwise conveniently forget negative info about our ingroups and positive info about outgroups  Boldry andKashby o Indicates that outgroup homogeneity tends to be strong but ingroup favoritism isn’t universal as we thought o Data suggest that group status moderates tendency to engage ingroup favoritism such that  low status groups tend to show outgroup favoritism  high status groups show ingroup favoritism only on one of several dimensions  results also suggest that more research needed to examine influence of context variables on perception of ingroups and outgroups Social Learning  long been truism that children learn many of their values, attitudes and other info about world from parents  through direct or observational learning of rewards and norms that one’s society have for believing and behaving according certain attitudes, children begin to acquire beliefs and values about world  Allport o Suggested that there is definite link between prejudiced attitudes of parents and development of such attitudes in children o Supported idea that children of parents who were authoritarian were more likely to develop prejudiced attitudes o Argued that it’s important to distinguish between teaching and the development of stereotyped attitudes and prejudice o Suggests “prejudice was not taught by parents, but caught by child from infected atmosphere” Childhood Intergroup Contact  Wood and Sonleitner o Research suggests that childhood interracial contact is good predictor of adult endorsement of outgroup stereotypes and prejudiced attitudes  Problems with the results of Wood o Measures collect no data on age of first interracial contact o Questions that make up index of contact don’t really assess specific nature of contact between respondent and Blacks o Questions that make up index of contact only really assess potential for contact, not necessarily actual contact Value Transmission in Families  Evident suggest that racial attitudes not inborn and neither is that race doesn’t influence child’s perception of the world until years later  Research suggests that racial attitudes gradually develop in first years of life o Suggests that 3-4 year olds show signs of racial cues  Children get older, attitudes about racial groups become more coherent, complex and intense  Children learn prejudiced attitudes and stereotypes about others  Rohan and Zanna o Found that there’s support for notion that parents and adult children are very similarin intergroup attitudes o Biggest factor that seemed to infknce degree of parent and child intergroup attitude similarity was whether parents exhibited right-wing authoritarianism  Appears that children will adopt attitudes and values similar to those of parents except when they perceive parents as both demanding and unresponsive Influence of Stereotypes on Cognitions in Children  Corenblum, Annis and Young and Aboud o Found that majority group children held more positive attitudes toward their own group and more negative attitudes toward outgroups  McKown and Weinstein o Found that between age 6 and 10, majority group children move from being virtually oblivious to others’ stereotypes about their ingroup to being able to infer others’ stereotypes o Found that children from stigmatized groups are aware of stereotypes about their group from very young age and that they tend to show effects of stereotype threat  Stereotypes also influence overall cognitive performance in children in much same way that they do in adult Stereotypes and Prejudice in Media  Prevalent heuristic among both children and adults seems to be “if it’s in media, it must be true” o We use media as tool to help us decide pervasiveness and acceptability of our beliefs and attitudes.  If media were mere unbiased conduits of actual statistical frequency of crimes committed by all racial groups and one saw a disproportionate number of group as perpetrators of crime  Studies suggest that media is often less than objective in reporting incidence of crimes committed by African Americans relative to other racial groups  Romer, Jamieson and deCoteau o Found that over 14 weeks of newscasts, persons of color were more likely to be presented as perpetrators of crimes and Whites more likely to be shown as victim of crimes o Found that frequency of crimes by persons of color that were reported on newscasts were about 20%higher than what would be predicted based on actual statistics compiled by FBI  Chideya o Cites data from Bureau of Justice Statistics that indicates over half of violent crimes are committed by Caucasians, and 64% of victims of violent crimes identified  Dixon and Maddux o Found that heavy news viewers compared to those who only occasionally watched news more uncomfortable being exposed to dark sinned perpetrator of crime and more likely to remember perpetrator if he was dark skinned black male Implicit Theories  Implicit theories: ideas of what personality characteristics seem to “go together” in people and also have our own ideas about nature of personality o Beliefs and heuristics guide processing of social info and help evaluate others  Entity theorists: believe that one’s personality traits are fixed and can’t be changed o Tend to believe that traits are fixed, stable indicators of behavior o Believe that behavior is consistent o Should be more likely to infer host of related target personality characteristics based on isolated behavior  Incremental theorists: believe that one’s personality traits are flexible an can be modified o Less likely to make inference because more cognizant of belief that behavior is less predictable just based on one sample of behavior  Levy, Strossner and Dweck o Found that compared to incremental theorists, entity theorists did tend to  Use stereotypes more often in their judgments of outgroups  From more extreme judgments about outgroup  Attribute stereotyped characteristics to inborn qualities within  One’s implicit theories about content and nature of personality can have profound effect on one’s subsequent beliefs about other groups The Efficiency of Stereotypes  Stereotypes enable perceiver to quickly arrive at evaluation of target individual on basis on very little info o Useful because we can devote more energy to other demanding cognitive tasks  Tend to reserve considered cognitive efforts for those instances in which we are motivated to be accurate in our assessment of other person  Macrae o Examined assumption that stereotypes function as cognitive resource preserving tools. Examined ability of participants to do 2 cognitive tasks at one time  Form impression of target individual while monitoring prose passage o Results indicated that those who were provided with stereotype label were able to recall twice as many personality descriptors for target and recall more of paragraph info than those given no stereotype label o Suggest that stereotype labels enable participants to devote less attention to forming an impression of target and more attention to remembering stereotyped associated personality descriptors and paragraph info in prose monitoring task o Results suggest that stereotypes do function as energy saving tools in social perception  Research shows that when confronted with a lot of info and required to make social judgment, more likely to use stereotypes in assessment o When cognitive task is simple, much less likely to rely on stereotypes in assessment of other person because cognitive capacity to think carefully is not taxed by need to proces
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