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Chapter 11

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY220H1
Professor
Dan Dolderman
Semester
Fall

Description
PSY 220 CH.11 Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination • Christopher Columbus’s diary entry saying that the people of the new land are well built, and would make good slaves. • He was on his way to developing a positive stereotype about the people because they were nice. But they were different which led him to be prejudiced against the islanders. • Humans have made mainly advancements since then. Slavery is pretty much abolished, races and religions mix, and the US even elected a coloured president. • Despite progress, it is abundantly clear that the human tendencies to stereotype, harbour prejudice, and engage in discrimination are still with us. • There will never be a single, comprehensive theory of stereotyping, prejudice, or discrimination. • Three general principles shed light on the issues: 1. Economic perspective identifies the roots of much intergroup hostility in the competing interests that set many groups apart from one another. 2. Motivational perspective emphasizes the psychological needs and wishes that lead to intergroup conflict. 3. Cognitive perspective traces the origin of stereotyping to the same cognitive processes that allow people to categorize, say, items of furniture into distinct classes of chairs, couches, and tables. Takes into account the frequent conflict between people’s consciously held beliefs and values and their quick, reflexive reactions to members of specific racial, ethnic, occupational, or other demographics. • They are often complementary elements of a complete analysis. Characterizing Intergroup Bias • Stereotypes: Beliefs that certain attributes are characteristic of members of particular groups. • Stereotypes can be positive or negative, true or false. • Prejudice: A negative attitude or affective response toward a certain group and its individual members. • While negative attitudes are more common, positive prejudice is also possible. • Discrimination: Unfair treatment of members of a particular group based on their membership in that group. • Roughly speaking, stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination refer to the belief, attitudinal, and behavioural components, respectively, of negative intergroup relations. • Often all components go together, but they can exist without the others. Ex. Discriminate without prejudice can be seen in preserving cultural identity in not wanting kids to marry outside their culture. Modern Racism • Many things have changed fairly recently that can create a conflict between what we think and feel and what we should think and feel. • It is a competition between beliefs and values. • Modern racism: Prejudice directed at other racial groups that exist along-side rejection of explicitly racist beliefs. • Experiment: Who will they help, a white or black person? 2 situations, in one, the participant believes someone else is around to help, in the other, they believe they are the only person there to help. When they thought they were the only responder, they helped the black victim slightly more often. When they thought someone else was around to help, they most often helped the white victim. Happens because they can justify their actions in choosing the white victim over black by saying that they thought someone else could better attend to them. • Study: White individuals evaluated white and black applicants to college. When strengths and weaknesses were equal, there was no discrimination. When there were unequal strengths and weaknesses, they focused on the weaknesses for black individuals and on the strengths for white individuals. • Opposite result can be observed when the desire to appear unprejudiced is strong. Simply by reading a statement about how applications processes were biased, it caused this shift. Benevolent Racism and Sexism • Stereotypes do not have to be negative to be harmful. Many stereotypes often include positive and negative aspects (Asians smart/gifted, but cold/rigid). • Those who hold ambivalent attitudes tend to act positively toward members of the outgroups only if they fulfill their idealized image of what such people should be like. Measuring Attitudes about Groups • Many scales that were made need to be modified because people are unwilling to directly state their aversion to certain groups. • Self-report can be falsified and people cannot report on underlying dislike for a group when they themselves are unaware of it. Therefore indirect measures are used. The ImplicitAssociation Test (IAT) • Implicit Association Test (IAT): A technique for revealing non-conscious prejudices toward particular groups. • Technique works as such: Images/words flashed on screen and participants are asked to hit one button or another depending on which rule the image conforms to. (E.g. Weak word tap left finger, strong word tap right finger in accordance with the following words: Martha, vigorous, Jason, small, David, etc. Repeat procedure but tap your left finger if it is a feminine name OR a strong word, and right finger if it is a male name OR a weak word.) • Respondents would be faster to press one key for members of a particular group and words stereotypically associated with the group than to press the same key for members of that group and words that contradict the stereotype associated with that group. • Asame general idea is showing a picture/word and having to say if it fits better as positive or negative. The buttons are then switched. • Most people favour young over old, white over black as evidenced by these tests. • Brain imaging has been done to corroborate the IAT results. Priming and Implicit Prejudice • Priming: A procedure used to increase the accessibility of a concept or schema (for example, a stereotype). • Priming used to measure prejudices individuals might not know they have, or deny. • Shown a word/picture then asked if the following arrangements of letters are words. E.g. See a picture of a nun. If you associate them with virtue and charity, you are more likely to respond quickly to positive terms. If you have negative association to nuns, you are more likely to respond quickly to negative words. The Economic Perspective • Some of the most intense intergroup tensions arise between groups that vie for the same limited resources. • According to the economic view of prejudice and discrimination, groups develop prejudices about one another and discriminate against one another when they compete for material resources. Realistic Group Conflict Theory • Realistic group conflict theory: A theory that group conflict, prejudice, and discrimination are likely to arise over competition between groups for limited resources. • Therefore prejudice and discrimination increase over periods of economic difficulty. • Also, groups who stand to lose the most are likely to exhibit even greater prejudice and discrimination. • Ethnocentrism: Glorifying one’s own group while vilifying other groups. • Realistic group conflict theory specifies how conflict is carried out. First, ethnocentrism develops. Then people starts stereotyping and treating others in a way that goes against one’s own moral code.At the same time, loyalty towards one’s own group intensifies. The Robbers Cave Experiment • Done by Muzafer Sherif and colleagues. 22 fifth grade boys, average in every way and of the same ethnic groups, were taken to Robbers Cave State Park for 2.5 weeks. They were separated into 2 groups who initially were unaware of the others existence. Competition and Intergroup Conflict • First phase saw activities being engaged in to increase group unity (pitching tents, preparing meals). Each group saw cohesion develop and each named themselves. They were named the Eagles and the Rattlers.Ahierarchical structure emerged within the groups. • In the second phase the groups were brought together for a tournament, where the winners would receive a medal and highly coveted pocket knife and the losers got nothing. The tournament lasted 5 days. The tournament was set-up to make the other group appear to be a foe in the way of their own goals. • Hostility rose as the groups called each other names. The Eagles captured and burned the Rattlers’flag, who in turn stole the Eagles flag. Fights broke out in dining areas, raids were conducted on each other’s cabin, and numerous challenges to engage in physical fights were issued. • Within the groups, boys who were more athletically gifted or took an aggressive stance towards the other group rose in popularity. • Favouritism shown when the researchers scattered beans about the field and asked the groups to collect as many as possible in 1 minute for a 5$ reward. They then projected an amount of beans on a screen saying that that was how many each team had collected, and had each group guess how many were the groups had collected. The beans were shown for little time, so they couldn’t count and the same amount was shown for both teams. The boys’estimates revealed clear ingroup favouritism: each group estimated that boys in their group had collected more beans. Reducing Intergroup Conflict through Superordinate Goals • Third phase had to do with reducing conflict between groups. • They were brought together over a few days in non-competitive settings. This did not dissipate the hostility. • Researchers came up with things that could only be solved when the groups worked together, like inspecting a water pipe to find the disruption for the camps water supply. Another effort was saying a supply truck had broken down and needed to get to camp. The researchers left rope around hoping the groups would work together to pull it to camp. These efforts helped bring them closer together. • Superordinate goals: Goals that transcend the interests of any one group and that can be achieved more readily by 2 or more groups working together. • When the study was completed, the boys insisted on returning to the city on the same bus as their new friends. When they took a pit stop, the group that won the 5$ spent it on malted milks that they shared with everyone. • Lessons: Neither differences in background nor differences in appearance nor prior histories of conflict are necessary for intergroup hostility to develop.All that is required is competition for a goal that only one can achieve.Another lesson is that competition against outsiders often increases group cohesion. Final lesson points to how intergroup conflict can be diminished. To diminish it, get the groups to work towards a common goal. Evaluating the Economic Perspective • The military is an example of phase 3, different groups and cultures are brought together to train and possibly fight against a common enemy. • University and college students are more likely to not work well with other groups. The goal is a good grade, and the curving mark systems of the school mean that other people’s success can be your failure. Integration efforts on college campuses may therefore be less successful. Box 11.1 The “Jigsaw” Classroom • People in classes put into groups of varying ethnicity, gender, race. Each student within the group has to learn and master one topic then teach it to the others. This reliance on each other builds relationships among them. Students in jigsaw classrooms like school more and develop more positive attitudes towards different ethnic groups than do students in traditional classrooms. The Motivational Perspective • Intergroup hostility can develop even in the absence of competition. • In the Robbers Cave experiment, when the groups first learned of the other, there were signs of increased ingroup solidarity – this is before they engaged in any competition. • During phase 1 they were brought within ear shot of the other group and each group changed how they referred to things, our baseball diamond versus the baseball diamond. The Eagles hadn’t even given themselves a name until they found out there was another group. • The existence of group boundaries among any collection of individuals, then, can be sufficient to initiate group discrimination. The Minimal Group Paradigm • Minimal group paradigm: An experimental paradigm in which researchers create groups based on arbitrary and seemingly meaningless criteria and then examine how the members of these “minimal groups” are inclined to behave toward one another. • In this minimal group paradigm, participants first perform a task then they are put into 2 groups based on their performance to that task. • The task can be as simple as counting the number of dots flashed briefly on a screen, and being put into groups of overestimators and underestimators. In reality, the people are randomly assigned to the groups, and they never learn who else is in their group or who is in the other group. • The second part of the experiment involves the participants being taken into cubicles and asked to assign points, redeemable for money, to successive pairs of their fellow participants. They are asked to assign the money to ‘number 4 of the overestimating group.’ • Options for point allocation are: Relatively equal amounts with slightly more for the outgroup, maximum ingroup reward but still more for the outgroup, or maximize ingroup advantage over the outgroup. • Repetition of these sorts of experiments show that a majority of participants interested more in maximizing the relative gain for members of the ingroup than in maximizing the absolute gain for their ingroup. Social Identity Theory • The us/them distinction may be one of the basic cuts people make in dividing up and organizing the world. Though it can’t be a product of cognition alone. For that we need a motivational theory – a theory to explain why, once us/them distinction is made, we are treated better than they. • The motivation can be material or economic, as discussed earlier. • Social identity theory: A theory that a person’s self-concept and self-esteem derive not only from personal identity and accomplishments but also from the status and accomplishments of the various groups to which the person belong. • E.g. Being an American is an element of the self-concept of mostAmericans, and with it comes the pride associated with, say, the Bill of Rights, U.S. economic and military clout, and the accomplishments of American scientists, athletes, and entertainers.Also they feel the shame associated withAmerican slavery and the treatment of NativeAmericans. Boosting the Status of the Ingroup • Feeling better about the group leads us to feel better about ourselves. Therefore we do what we can to boost the status of the groups to which we belong. Basking in Reflected Glory • People go to great lengths to announce their affiliation with their group when it is doing well. Great example is sports teams. • Basking in reflected glory: The tendency for people to take pride in the accomplishments of those with whom they are in some way associated, as when fans identify with a winning team. • Looked at how often students wore team colours and school sweatshirts following wins and losses. Found they were more likely to wear them after wins. They also dissociated themselves when there was a loss versus a win (“we won” vs. “they lost”). Derogating Outgroups to Bolster Self-Esteem • Study: ½ of participants had their self-esteem threatened by telling them they did poorly on an intelligence test; the other half were told they did well. Participants were asked to watch a video tape that made it clear to half of them that the person being interviewed for a job was Jewish. Participants were then asked to rate the participant.Among the participants whose self-esteem was threatened, those who thought she was Jewish rated her more negatively that those who were not told she was Jewish; no difference was found in those whose self-esteem was not threatened.Also, those who had their self- esteem threatened and had taken it out on the applicant experienced an increase in self- esteem. • Study: Non-black participants were either praised or criticized by a white or black doctor. Prediction was that the participants would be motivated to cling to the praise they received but to challenge the criticism – and that they would use the race of their evaluator to help them do so. Participants took part in a lexical decision task (flash words and non-words on a screen and have people indicate as fast as they can if they are words) right after the evaluation with the doctor. If the participants were thinking of their evaluator primarily as a doctor, they recognized the medical words faster; if they thought of their evaluator primarily as a black man, they would recognize the words associated with the black stereotype faster. • Results: When he criticized them, participants saw him as a black man – something they did not readily do when he praised them. Frustration-Aggression Theory • Frustration-aggression theory: A theory that elaborates the idea that frustration leads to aggression. • People are particularly likely to vilify outgroups under conditions that foster frustration and rage. • If pe
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