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Chapter 4

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University of Toronto St. George
Dwayne Pare

Chapter 4: The Prejudiced Personality: Are some people more likely to feel prejudice?  Before the realization of the Nazi horror regime psychologists had explained prejudice as a psychodynamic process of unconscious defense mechanisms o Prejudice was seen as defensive protection of one's frustrations. Fears, & hostility outward against innocent outgroups Psychodynamic perspectives Authoritarianism (Adorno et al.)  For authoritarians, certain patterns of prejudice, childhood upbringing & relationships w/ parents tended to be quite common o Especially likely to adopt prejudiced attitudes o Tended to grow up in homes w/ strict, disciplinarian parents & exposed to punishment o More submissive to authority , to adhere to strictly to middle-class traditions & values, & to think very rigidly (w/ no gray areas) o Tended to hold prejudices against many groups not just one o Authoritarians were believed to hate deviant impulses (i.e. fear, aggression, sex) & more likely to externalize these unacceptable impulses to others via projection  This unacceptable impulses displaced to stereotyped groups  Authoritarian person does not believe they have these negative qualities, but these undesirable characteristics are attributed to various minority groups o Authoritarian's fear of & dependency on parents, coupled w/ their hatred & suspicion of them tends to be the impetus to displace or channel these unacceptable parent-related impulses & their own negative impulses into hostility toward minority groups o Authoritarian personality characteristics can also be found in some minority-group members  i.e some Jewish persons high on a measure of antidemocratic values & attitudes not only are prejudiced toward other groups, also more likely to be anti-Semitic  Although much evidence points to strong correlation b/w way parents raise child & child's subsequent tendency to evidence prejudice, unclear what process accounts for the correlation o Does child develop authoritarian personality characteristics & intolerance for minority groups or simply result of child internalizing parents' values & ethnic attitudes? Character-conditioned prejudice  Allport elaborated on theory of authoritarian personality  Allport believed that prejudiced personality emerged out of a "crippled" ego o This individual feels threatened, insecure, & fearful of virtually everything  In trying to overcome these fears, person develops a prejudiced view of others as way of projecting their fears & self-doubts onto others o People w/ prejudiced personality tend to repress their fears & insecurities so that the can avoid facing their anxieties & shortcomings  This repression leads to development of many of same characteristics possesses by the authoritarian individual : ambivalence toward parents, moralism, need for definiteness, & dichotomization (categorical, black-or-white thinking) Problems with the psychodynamic approach  4 main reasons for decline of empirical test in the psychodynamic explanation for a prejudice personality: 1. Researchers became more & more critical of psychoanalytic approaches to personality  Smith & Rosen found inverse correlation b/w authoritarian personality (higher scores on F scale) scores & measure of "world-mindedness"  World-mindedness: indicator of one's attitude toward & acceptance of people from other countries suggest that their scale & F-scale (low scores indicate greater intolerance)  Suggest that their scale & F scale measure essentially same personality characteristics, & yield similar results  Martin & Westie suggested that prejudice may be result of an intolerant personality  These people tended to be suspicious of politicians, intolerant of ambiguity (i.e. prone to categorical, rigid thinking), more superstitious & inclined to believe in mystical & bizarre definitions of reality  Those w/ an intolerant personality scored lower on measures of compassion, sympathy & trust & higher on measures of conservatism than those w/ tolerant personality  These findings mirror those by Adorno et al concerning authoritarian personality  However, world-mindedness & tolerant-personality both nicely measure same constellation of personality characteristics & uncovers same findings as those of Adorno et a , but do so w/out assuming the psychodynamic processes that were the supposed causal force in creating the authoritarian personality 2. Methodological & other conceptual problems  Primary measures of authoritarianism, the F scale (facism), the A-S scale (anti- Semitism) & E scale (ethnocentricism) were worded poorly so difficult to distinguish b/w agreement w/ authoritarian beliefs or acquiescence bias (agreeing w/ most or all items on a measure) 3. Theory only explained presence of prejudice in a small subset of population & did not explain why those w/out authoritarian personality showed prejudice toward at least 1 group  Couldn't account for why prejudice stronger in some regions 4. Suggests there is little hope of changing an authoritarian individual to be more accepting of other  b/c authoritarians are not introspective, they do not believe there is anything about their personality that needs to be changed or improved & will resist attempts by others to convince them of their faulty views  By late 1960s, researchers abandoned work on this concept Right-wing authoritarianism  Altemeyer found that the Adorno et a. definition of a prefacist personality (i.e the authoritarian) was quite vague o Adorno et al. believed it was based on a constellation of 9 related traits that were in fact very ill-defined  i.e. had a trait called "superstition & stereotypy" when these 2 things are not the same thing o Altemeyer found little correlation & covariance b/w these 9 traits  However, he found 3 of these traits seemed to show strong relationship w/ each other  These traits, which Altemeyer conceptualizes as "attitudinal clusters" are authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, & conventionalism  Authoritarian submission: indicates strong degree of submission to perceived legitimate authorities in one's society  Authoritarian aggression: general aggression & hostility directed toward outgroups, that is viewed as acceptable by recognized authorities  Conventionalism: strong adherence to social norms & traditions that are perceived as sanctioned by recognized authorities  Altemeyer termed this constellation of attitudes right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) , to denote its difference form Adorno et al.'s Freudian-based authoritarianism while also acknowledging its basis in at least of part of Adorno et al.'s theory  Right-wing authoritarianism : personality style in which individual tends to be politically conservative, more punitive toward criminals, more likely to endorse orthodox religious views, & very prejudiced toward outgroups  Scores on RWA scale correlate highly w/ measures of ethnocentrism & hostility toward homosexuals  High RWAs tend to show more prejudiced attitudes when their answers on questionnaires are anonymous  High RWAs tend to be prejudiced toward virtually everyone  "equal-opportunity bigots" o RWA individuals both fearful & self-righteous  Altemeyer has found that these 2 factors account for the strong link b/w RWA scores & prejudice  Speculates that most children form rather authoritarian attitudes but become low RWAs by late teens as a result of experiences that modify these attitudes & beliefs  High RWAs do not get this experience & do not appreciate extent of their prejudice & RWA attitudes  Lack of insight leads to rigid attitudes & prejudice  However, RWAs might respond to info that indicates they are violating their cherished ideals (i.e. how attitudes contradict values such as freedom or equality)  Faced w/ such info, may be willing to change their beliefs in order to feel more attitudinally consistent & to reduce cognitive dissonance associated w/ this realization  More research needed to further examine utility of RWA as predictor & moderator of attitudes toward others  Recent research has found support for idea that prejudice is found in people w/ rigid ideologies o People high in explicit prejudice are also high in implicit prejudice, & people who show rigid, right-wing ideology tend to be prejudiced toward many disadvantaged groups that have little in common  This supports Adorno's theorizing that authoritarian individuals tend to be equal- opportunity bigots & are prejudiced toward essentially any outgroup Religion  Positive correlation b/w being more religious & having less tolerance & more stereotyped cognitions about others o Some suggest that w/ greater adherence to strict tenets of religious scripture comes an increase in tendency to think rigid, either-or terms that partitions world into a basic good- bad dichotomy  Much social-cognition research suggests that anything that works to inhibit the considered processing of info about other individuals increases the likelihood that one will rely on heuristics (stereotypes)when evaluating others  Early research suggested a strong link b/w prejudice & intolerance & type of thinking fostered w/ greater religiosity Committed versus Consensual Religiosity  On the other hand, there are a number of studies that found little correlation b/w religion & prejudice  Allen & Spika suggest that it's very important to assess how each individual participant focuses & organizes their religious beliefs o Can get more accurate understanding of relationship b/w religion & prejudice o Assessed religiosity on 8 different measures, & obtained participant attitudes on various social issues via 6 different measures of social opinion  Also coducted an interview w/ each participant & coded the responses according to 5 cognitive components: content, clarity, complexity, flexibility, & importance o Based on these codings, participants classified as having "committed" or "consensual" religious beliefs  Committed religious orientation: allows an individual to hold a wide range of belief categories through which one can evaluate the world, & one's ideas about the world & others tend to be more complex & open-minded  Show greater tolerance for diversity, & more likely to thoughtfully consider different ideas, beliefs & opinions  Consensual religious orientation: tend to interpret religion more literally & concretely, tend to make more generalizations about religious topics (i.e. more likely to make broad characterizations & think in categorical terms), & relatively unreceptive to different ideas & opinions  This distinction provides more articulation of relationship b/w prejudice & religious beliefs  Data showed that consensual religiosity was closely associated w/ prejudiced attitudes, & committed religious beliefs were strongly associated w/ greater tolerance & non- prejudiced attitudes Extrinsic versus Intrinsic religious orientation (Ross & Allport)  Extrinsic religious orientation: use religion for own purposes, attend church infrequently & tend to be more prejudiced toward others  Intrinsic religious orientation: have internalized values of their religion, live according to these beliefs, attend church regularly, & tend to be more egalitarian  Although Ross & Allport found supportive evidence for extrinsic-intrinsic dichotomy, other researchers have been critical of the distinction o Some data suggest that Religious Orientation Scale (ROS; devised by Ross & Allport to measure intrinsic or extrinsic religious orientation) is not useful in assessing religious beliefs of participants in non-traditional religions (i.e. Unitarians) o Contrary to what would be predicted by intrinsic & extrinsic individuals, has been found that Unitarian individuals scored more extrinsically than those who had a traditional religious denomination (Baptists), but they were less prejudiced o Batson et al. noted that the measures of religious orientation (ROS) & prejudice were self- report measures  Accuracy questionable due to social desirability  Suggested that association b/w intrinsic religious orientation & prejudice was influenced by social desirability  Gave a measure of racial prejudice, a measure of social desirability & 6 measures of religious orientation to 51 white participants  Participants led to believe that they would be discussing their religious & racial attitudes later w/ either a White or African American interviewer  Participants asked to indicate ratings of how much they would like each interviewer (White or African American as indicated by interviewer's attached photo) to interview them  To the degree that people rated the white interviewer higher, these ratings were used as index of racial prejudice  Results:  Intrinsic religious orientation was strongly associated w/ high scores on measures of social desirability, & negatively associated w/ racial prejudice  But when effects of social desirability statistically controlled for, negative correlation b/w intrinsic orientation & racial prejudice nearly disappeared  This suggests that being intrinsically oriented does not necessarily mean that one is non-prejudiced, but it does mean that one is more concerned w/ presenting oneself as more religious & egalitarian than one actually is  Morris et al. suggested that it is important to further specify religious orientation in terms of intrinsic (I), extrinsic , indiscriminantly antireligious (IA), & indiscriminantly proreligious (IP) o IA & I persons were lower in racial prejudice compared to E & IP individuals  Unchanged when accounting for social desirability o Suggest that high scores on the social desirability measure for Is differ in meaning from IPs  For Is, high social desirability scores indicate that the person is reporting something that's actually true (i.e. person genuinely, for example, rarely lies) & is not concerned w/ appearing socially desirable, but in fact desirable socially  IPs may indeed be concerned w/ responding according to how they think they should respond to gain social approval  While Batson et al. showed that not all intrinsically oriented religious individuals are low in prejudice, research by Herek indicates that Is are tolerant of only certain types of individuals o Gave measures of religious orientation, racism & attitudes toward homosexuals to White heterosexual undergrad students (homosexuals = less acceptable group for religious persons)  Intrinsic orientation was not positively correlated w/ racism, but an extrinsic orientation was positively correlated w/ racism  Support Allport & Ross's findings  But, Herak did not measure social desirability concerns , so likely that results may be subject to bias  Herak found that Is were more prejudiced than Es toward homosexuals  Suggests that having an intrinsic religious orientation does not foster greater tolerance toward others, only unequivocal acceptance of specific others who are accepted by Judeo-Christian teachings Religion as a Quest  "Quest" orientation (Bateson et al.) : sees religion as a "process of questioning, doubting & reexamination in response to the contradictions & tragedies of life o Quest orientation did not correlate positively w/ social desirability, & higher scores on the quest orientation were negatively correlated w/ prejudice o Bateson et al. suggested that question orientation may correlate more positively w/ pro- soical behavior such as compassion for others o Some researchers have been skeptical of the utility & validity  Griffin et al. examined religious orientation in Seventh-Day Adventists in Caribbean (measuring prejudice against the Rastafarians)  b/c both participants & targets were Black, study examined cultural influences on prejudice  Strength of commitment to church, church attendance, & intrinsic orientation were significantly correlated w/ prejudice  Extrinsic & quest orientations were not related to prejudice (neither positive/negative correlation)  Suggest that it is too simplistic to measure a broad religious orientation & correlated it w/ prejudice,& a more accurate assessment of the relation of prejudice & religious beliefs must take into account the influence of culture & religious context  In this culture & context, the Seventh-Day Adventist church promoted an intolerant attitude among its members, toward the Rastafarians  So being highly religious also meant that one was very intolerant toward group that was regarded negatively by one's church  These results consistent w/ Herak's findings that religion fosters both tolerance of groups accepted by the church & intolerance of groups not acceptable to church o Support for quest orientation & non-prejudiced attitudes:  Altemeyer & Hunsberger found that whereas religious fundamentalism (1 unchanging god; truths must be followed strictly) & prejudice were highly related while those w/ quest orientation showed little or no prejudice toward a wide variety of groups  Used different measure of question orientation & still found same negative correlation b/w intrinsic orientation & prejudice  Shows validity  Data also showed high RWAs tend to more prejudiced & more likely to score high on measures of religious fundamentalism  Batson et al. found data to suggest that low-prejudice scores of intrinsic-oriented individuals were merely an artifact of social-desirability concerns, & when social-desirability accounted for the negative correlation b/w prejudice & intrinsic orientation disappears o Designed a study w/ specific focus on examining prejudice via overt & covert measures  Used an attributional ambiguity procedure to examine prejudice of individuals who had intrinsic, extrinsic, or quest orientation  Procedure examines prejudiced responses to situations in which it's very obvious that prejudice is the basis for one's behavior (overt, unambiguous context) & in which there is a ready alternative explanation for one's behavior (covert, ambiguous context)  White participants completed measures of religious orientation in a pretesting session  Contacted 3-5 weeks later to participate in ostensibly separate experiment (participants not told that their religious orientation scores were related to their selection for the study)  Participants told that study was concerned w/ reaction to movies  Led to a large theater where they were seated at a chair near the entrance  Middle of theater had a partition, forming 2 smaller theaters containing screens & chairs, & participants told they could select in which theater they wanted to see the movie  In each of the theaters, participants could see another subject (confederate) filling out a questionnaire prior to the start of the film  In one theater confederate was white; while black in the other  1/2 of participants told that one of movie projectors had broken & could only show same movie in each theater (over, unambiguous condition)  Other 1/2 told there would be different movies showing in each theater & given brief descriptions of each movie to help them choose which movie to see (covert, ambiguous condition)  The experimenter left the subject & confederate, 5 minutes later the film ended & participants completed questions about the movie & then debriefed  If Batson et al. was correct, then would expect that intrinsic individuals would show no prejudice in the overt condition, b/c they are very concerned w/ appearing non- prejudiced  Thus, would be more likely to choose to sit w/ African American confederate , b/c to sit w/ white would indicate only one reason for such a choice : prejudice (they did not want to sit w/ African American student)  In the covert condition, they predicted that intrinsic would tend to choose not to sit w/ the African American confederate but to sit in the other theater w/ the White  Their intolerant attitudes can be expressed w/out concern for being seen as prejudiced, b/c choice to sit in other theater (w/ white) could be explained as interest in other movie rather than expression of prejudice  Also predicted that choice to sit w/ white would be negatively correlated w/ a quest orientation, regardless of overt or covert nature of the situation  Results:  Intrinsic individuals tended to choose to sit w/ African American confederate in the overt condition  However, they chose to sit w/ white confederate in ambiguous covert condition  Those high on the question orientation tended to sit w/ African American confederate in both overt & covert conditions  Significantly more likely to sit w/ African American confederate in the covert condition  These results suggest that an intrinsic religious orientation is less related to tolerance & low-prejudice, & more related to desire to appear non-prejudiced  People who have an intrinsic religious orientation score lower on self-report measures of prejudice, but do not tend to score lower on these measures compared to non-religious persons  although evidence suggests that religion does not stimulate prejudice (though it may foster intolerance toward certain, unacceptable groups), it does not decrease prejudice either o Does not apply to those w/ quest orientation  These individuals do tend to be of low prejudice & show greater tolerance of outgroups , regardless of self-presentation aspects of the situation  Recent paper suggests that as agreement w/ orthodox beliefs increases, scores on measures of racial implicit prejudice decrease o Christian beliefs need to emphasize tolerance & acceptance of others o This association (more Christian beliefs leading to less prejudice) only occurs when one controls for moderate effects of RWA on prejudice  Lowering RWA attitudes could reduce implicit prejudice Need for Cognition  Need for cognition (NC) : an individual difference variable that refers to motivational state of an individual to think about the world o Those high in need for cognition (HNC) : tend to think about, seek & ponder info relevant to the relationships among people, events, & objects in their environment o Those w/ low need for cognition (LNC) : neither motivated to nor excited by thinking about their environment  Prefer to avoid extensive cognition & instead rely on more heuristic types of thinking that allow them to make quick judgements w/ the least cognitive effort o HNC persons are least susceptible to distraction or other heuristic cues that would lead to biased (or non-rational) conclusions about the persuasion message o LNC persons , susceptible to these peripheral cues in persuasion messages ; tend to be equally persuaded by weak & strong rationales for changing one's attitude in the direction intended by persuader o To the degree that NC causes an individual to seek more info about the world & avoid fast & (often inaccurate) heuristic judgements, that person should be less likely to rely on stereotypes when thinking about others o Data found in a recent paper do not support simple prediction that HNC persons would be less likely to use stereotypes in social judgments  HNC individuals remembered more stereotype-consistent info about a target than did LNC persons, but they were unaffected by target-relevant stereotypes when forming impressions of a given target  LNC individuals tended to rely on stereotypes when forming impressions of a target, but when they later recall info about the target, their recollections tend to be unaffected by stereotyp
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