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Chapter 5

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Dwayne Pare

Chapter 5: Old-fashioned vs. Modern prejudice From Katz & Braly to civil rights, and beyond  Researchers obtained their first view of content of racial stereotypes that Caucasians held about African Americans from Katz& Braly study o White college students were asked to indicate whether various traits (84 in all) described Caucasians or African Americans & very positive views of Caucasians o Few respondents willing to attribute positive attributes to African Americans & negative attributes to Caucasians  Over the years data indicate that these attitudes have become less negative & increasingly positive  Changes in social, legal & political climate of U.S seem to correspond to changes in Caucasians' self-reported stereotypes of African Americans o White America has indeed reduced its negative views of & prejudice toward African Americans, however there is compelling evidence to suggest that extent to this attitude & prejudice change is not dramatic as once believed Are low-prejudice people really low-prejudice?  Some have questioned adjective-checklist procedure of Katz & Braly as a misleading measure of the stereotyping landscape o Niemann et al. Point to several problems w/ Katz & Braly procedure: 1. Subjects were predominantly White, upper-class males, which limits generalization ability of data 2. Method requires subject to rely on a controlled cognitive process in which the individual is actively thinking about whether a particular trait 'fits" in their schema for the group in question  Much research suggests that stereotypes are activated automatically upon encountering stimulus (group label, or indicator of the group) & can hold wealth of affective & other cognitive info that drives the stereotype that cannot be represented on adjective checklist  Thus, they suggest that results using checklist method may provide stereotypes that are more a function of the words presented on a list than of the schematic content of respondents' stereotype  Ehrlich & Rinehart administered Katz & Braly adjective checklist to half their participants, & asked other half to simply list all the words, traits, & characteristics they needed to adequately describe group in question o Results:  Words that participants used in open ended method were different from words the participants checked n the Katz & Braly procedure o Subsequent research by Allen et al has expanded this open-ended procedure to include values assigned to words generated, & these values are analyzed to indicate degree of favorability & unfavorability of the characterization of the target  This technique is known as adjective-generation technique & is a good way to ascertain content of stereotypes in a given point in time  Differences in words generated from time A to B can indicate how stereotypes of target group may be changing  Others suggest that Katz & Braly procedure does not , as commonly believed, measure knowledge about stereotypes, but rather personal beliefs about the truth of the stereotype o Shown in Devine & Elliot's analysis of decline in racial stereotypes  Suggest its important to distinguish b/w personal beliefs about stereotypes & knowledge about the stereotypes  Their analysis of participant responses to adjective-checklist data accumulated over the years suggest that some participants construed the task as an assessment of their stereotype knowledge & others thought it was measure of their personal beliefs about African Americans & Caucasians  Their analysis supports notion that adjective-checklist as it has been administered over the decades, is actually measuring personal beliefs (or willingness to publicly state those beliefs) about truth of racial stereotypes  Given change in U.S society on racial issues over last 50 years, the personal beliefs of Caucasians (or willingness to publicly state such beliefs) about stereotypes of African Americans indicate a strongly diminished support of those stereotypes  When Caucasians asked about their knowledge( not personal beliefs) about stereotypes of African Americans, their responses indicate high degree of negativity in traits selected as stereotypical of African Americans  So, although personal beliefs in negative stereotypes of African Americans appear to have decreased, knowledge of the cultural stereotype of African Americans has remained the same  Willingness to personally believe & overtly express such negative racial attitudes has seemed to changed  Available evidence suggests that stereotypes themselves have not changed much over last century, but form in which they're expressed has changed o After civil rights movement, negative affect & stereotypes remained but in subdued, subtle form  The fundamental ambivalence that characterizes current expression of racism & prejudice is the "trouble w/ equality" o On one hand, most Caucasians seemed to have an underlying association b/w African Americans & undesirable characteristics & values while on other hand, most Caucasians overtly embraced egalitarianism, values of equality for all & non-discrimination Modern Racism  Modern racism : subtle form of prejudice that is only expressed when individual believes it is safe, acceptable, or easily rationalizable o Modern racists ambivalent toward African Americans, conflicted b/w their anti-Black feelings & their beliefs that racism & discrimination are wrong  Issue not whether African Americans should be equal, but how that equality should be implemented in policy, law & employment  Have a problem w/ giving special treatment (i.e. Hiring preferences) to African Americans b/c they believe it violates work ethic that states advancement in life should be based on achievements & hard work rather than on "unfair" shortcuts  Modern racists believe that: 1. Discrimination is a thing of the past 2. African Americans are too pushy, trying to get into places where they are not welcome 3. Demands of African Americans' are unfair 4. African Americans' gains (bolstered by social programs that provide economic, housing, & other opportunities) are undeserved & unfair o Modern racists do not consider themselves to be racists  Regard racism as associated w/ pre-civil rights, "old-fashioned" racism , in which open hatred & feelings of superiority shown by racist  Their subtle negative feelings toward blacks are disguised, in order to prevent the dissonance associated w/ acknowledging the hypocrisy of prejudice & egalitarian values, as negative attitudes toward anyone who violates what they believe are traditional American values o Theory of modern racism has good empirical support & self-report scale (modern racism scale (MRS) ) devised to measure this subtle prejudice shown to have fair reliability & validity  Number of criticisms of MRS lead researchers to search for better ways to measure racial attitudes  Strongest criticism is that modern racism is not conceptually distinct from old- fashioned racism Symbolic Racism  Symbolic racism : Anti-African American prejudice originating out of the belief that African Americans violate traditional American values (i.e self-reliance, individualism, hard work, obedience)  Symbolic racist can also deny holding racist attitudes (& may believe they're not prejudiced) b/c, they believe a racist is one who exhibits "old-fashioned" racist beliefs of the inherent superiority of one race over another, as well as negative affect toward a group based on such beliefs o Negative affect & negative attitude held by symbolic racists toward another group are converted into disapproval for groups that do no seem to value traditional American values o b/c their view of how closely the other group is adhering to those values is tainted by their prejudice, unlikely that the other group would ever be perceived as adhering to those ideals o In this way, symbolic racists able to keep their negative affect & stereotypes of the outgroup, & even express these sentiments overtly while still claiming the source of such negative evaluations is an objective difference b/w whites & out-group in their support of traditional American values  Critics of symbolic racism argue that: o It is an ill-defined concept o Other explanations such as realistic group conflict & social-dominance theory can just as easily explain whites' opposition to social programs that reduce the inequity b/w Blacks & Whites o Numerous studies suggest that symbolic racism does not appear to be distinct concept from old-fashioned racism  The theory rightly highlights importance of the link b/w values & racial attitudes  Other research indicates that value conflict in whites leads to ambivalent attitude toward blacks, & it would be interesting to explore what implications this ambivalence may have for the strength w/ which prejudice feelings & beliefs are held  Recent research showed that symbolic racism is grounded in what they call "Black individualism", which is a concern that blacks do not live up to conservative values (such as those embodied in protestant work ethic), & specifically the value of the individualism o Suggests that symbolic racism is indeed distinct from similar racism constructs Aversive Racism  Aversive racism : Anti-African American prejudice in individuals who believe they are very egalitarian, but who also have negative feelings & attitudes toward African Americans; this prejudice likely to be expressed as ingroup favoritism rather than outgroup derogation o b/c egalitarian ideals & beliefs are central to aversive racist's self, they may deny conscious awareness of their negative attitudes & prejudice toward African Americans o When in a situation where it's unclear whether there are social prohibitions against expressing negative racial beliefs, aversive racist's negative feelings about African Americans may be expressed in subtle, easily justifiable ways o When social norms clearly anti-prejudice, then they will not behave in a racist fashion & may appear strongly egalitarian o Aversive racists experience more subtle feelings of "discomfort, uneasiness, disgust, & sometimes fear" in presence of African Americans  In a recent paper, Dovidio & Gaertner analyzed data from 1988 to 1989 on hiring decisions of white participants regarding Black & white job applicants, & they compared those data w/ similar data gathered 10 years later o Theory of aversive racism suggest that self-reported expressions of prejudice should decline over time but that subtle, underlying prejudice would remain constant o Results:  Self-reported levels of prejudice of 1998-1999 participants were lower than their counterparts a decade earlier  When presented w/ a clearly superior Black participant, participants did not show any underlying prejudice against applicant or prefer for White applicant, & tended to hire well-qualified minority  When qualifications of Black participant rather ambiguous, however, their subtle, underlying hostility toward Black participants emerged, & white participants tended to hire white candidate  In a recent meta-analysis, Caucasians showed no discrimination in helping Caucasians vs. Blacks, but when they could rationalize their decision to not help w/ reasons not related to race (i.e. if helping would entail more time, risk or effort), Caucasians gave less help to Blacks than to Whites Summary of contemporary theories of prejudice  Symbolic & modern racism are found primarily in political conservatives; while aversive racism associated w/ liberals  Racial ambivalence runs throughout these contemporary theories of prejudice o Stronger their ambivalence, more inconsistent their behavior will be towards blacks  Similar motivational & behavioral manifestations of prejudice in modern, aversive & symbolic racists suggests support for underlying theme of racial ambivalence that characterizes many Caucasian's racial attitudes in cotemporary American society Measures of stereotyping & prejudice  How best to accurately measure prejudiced attitudes is one of challenges of researchers  Once nature of prejudice & its relation to personality & situational influences have been identified, researcher can then attempt to create self-report measure to measure participant's level of that particular type of prejudice The self-report questionnaire  Self-report quickly became & remains one of most popular method of attitude assessment in psychology today o Self-report questionnaires very efficient : one can obtain large volume of attitude of data from lots of people very quickly  Self-report measures have some serious drawbacks: o Reponses to questions are usually restricted to response alternatives provided on questionnaire (unless it is open-ended)  Thus researcher gets general, if somewhat imprecise, measure of the respondent's attitudes o People do no always provide their true attitudes on self-report measures  Sensitive nature of an issue may prevent people from being conscious or aware of their true, underlying attitudes toward it (i.e. racial attitudes)  Anxiety & cognitive dissonance that are aroused w/ awareness of the underlying attitude may motivate such individuals to shut off those feelings from awareness, to deny their existence, in order to maintain a desired image of self as non-prejudiced  Others may be aware of their negative feelings toward other groups, but do not express these attitudes, b/c of negative social (sometimes legal) consequences for such behavior  : presenting oneself & one's attitudes as very positive, in Social desirability order to give most socially acceptable attitude/behavior, even if it deviates from one's true attitudes  Thus, extra measures need to be taken to ensure respondent provides true attitudes  Researchers can try to reduce social desirability by:  Telling subjects their responses are anonymous  Making responses confidential  Telling them the importance of providing honest responses  Virtually all respondents to attitude measures tempted to try to figure out purpose of attitude questionnaire o Demand characteristics: Aspects of experimental situation that lead participants to form their own hypotheses about what the experiment is about (& what behavior experimenter would like them to show)  Present an unwanted bias in research  Researchers may use filler items in questionnaire to make purpose of experiment less obvious to respondent  Filler items: items that have no relation to hypothesis under investigation, & are included to distract respondent from hypothesis of researcher  Added so its more likely that participants will provide honest response to items  Problem w/ these techniques is that they're not a guarantee that there will be no social desirability or other biases in participant's responses  Research suggests that these techniques designed to enhance validity of self-report measures only partially effective The Bogus Pipeline  Bogus -pipeline technique : attitude-assessment technique that reduces the social desirability response bias but is very labour intensive; participant is connected to device similar to lie detector, & led to believe that device will give experimenter an accurate reading of the participant's true attitudes  Sigall & Page designed a study to examine if racial attitudes of Whites towards Blacks had changed dramatically over time--> Bogus-pipeline study o Subjects told that experimenter will have direct reading or pipeline to their attitudes on issues under examination (led to believe that apparatus can assess one's true attitudes) o 1/2 of participants assigned to rating condition in which they indicate their attitudes on the issue in question (i.e. racial attitudes) aloud when the experimenter asks a question o Other 1/2 assigned to an EMG condition, in which asked to provide their ratings by turning a wheel, attached to a computer, that moves a dial corresponding to more negative or positive attitudes (agreement or disagreement) to question being asked o For 1/2 of the rating condition participants, experimenter read a list of 22 traits (i.e. "superstitious", "ambitious") & asked participants to indicate on wheel device how representative each trait was of "Americans"  Other 1/2 of the participants asked to indicate how representative each trait was of "Blacks o Typically these ratings indicated that participants (all white & male) rated both Americans & Blacks positively  In the EMG condition, participants told of the EMG machine & that intent of the study was to further validate measures it provides o Participants in this condition were first given a 5-item inventory asking their attitudes on relatively neutral topics such as music, sports, movies o Experimenter explained that the machine was able to assess the participant's implicit muscle movements & these would tell experimenter strength w/ which the participant was about to turn the wheel o The experimenter convinced the participant that the machine was very accurate o The participant is then read 22 traits & asked to provide his honest attitudes about each of them  As w/ rating condition, 1/2 participants asked about typicality of traits for "Americans" & other 1/2 asked how well these traits describe blacks o Results :  EMG participants were more confident than their
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