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Chapter 4

Chapter 4.docx

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William Huggon

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Chapter 4: The Prejudiced Personality Psychodynamic Perspectives: Authoritarianism (Adorno et al.) - Adorno et al. (1950): some people have personality structures that are flawed in such a way that they are conditioned to be especially likely to adopt prejudiced attitudes  authoritarians o Have parents who were strict disciplinarians o Submissive to authority o Adhere to strict middle-class traditions and values o Think very rigidly (all-or-none, black-or-white) o Tend to hold prejudices against many groups (anyone who is different from the authoritarian) o Hated deviant impulses; more likely to externalize these impulses to others via projection  believe that it is the prejudiced group who has the negative qualities not them  Fear & dependency on parents + hatred & suspicion of them  hostility to other groups - Authoritarian also found in minority-group o Jews  high in measures of antidemocratic values and attitudes  more likely to be anti-Semitic Character-Conditioned Prejudice - Allport (1954): authoritarian personality is a strong contributor in developing prejudiced attitudes o “crippled” ego (the individual feels threatened, insecure, and fearful of virtually everything)  try to overcome these insecurities  develops prejudiced view of others o Tend to repress their insecurities to avoid facing their anxieties and shortcomings  development of many characteristics possessed by the authoritarian individual (ambivalence toward parents, moralism, a need for definiteness, and dichotomization) Problems: 1. Researchers becoming more critical of the approach - Smith & Rosen (1958): found an inverse correlation between authoritarian personality scores and a measure of what they termed “world-mindedness” (one’s attitudes toward and acceptance of people from other countries) - Martie & Westie (1959): prejudice may be a result of an intolerant personality (suspicious, intolerant of ambiguity, superstitious, believe in fantastical definitions of reality, lower in compassion, sympathy, and trust, more conservative)  same findings as Adorno, but without assuming that the psychodynamic processes were creating the authoritarian personality 2. Methodological and other conceptual problems  unsatisfactory under scientific standards 3. Only explained the presence of prejudice in a small subset of the population; did not explain why those without an authoritarian personality were prejudice as well; could not account for regional differences 4. The theory suggests that there is little hope of making an authoritarian individual to be more accepting of others Right-Wing Authoritarianism - Altemeyer (1981): Adorno’s definition of a prefacist personality was too vague, but did found three traits strongly related  attitudinal clusters (right-wing authoritarianism) 1. Authoritarian submission: a strong degree of submission to perceived legitimate authorities 2. Authoritarian aggression: a general aggression and hostility directed toward outgroups viewed as acceptable by recognized authorities 3. Conventionalism: a strong adherence to social norms and traditions that are perceived as sanctioned by recognized authorities - High RWAs:  Politically conservative  Wish to restrict personal freedoms  More punitive toward criminals  Hold more orthodox religious views  Very prejudiced toward outgroups (high RWA scores correlate highly with measures of ethnocentrism & hostility toward homosexuals)  Show more prejudiced attitudes when their answers are anonymous  Tend to be prejudiced toward virtually everyone  “equal-opportunity bigots”  Fearful + self-righteous  correlation with prejudice Religion Committed vs. Consensual Religiosity - Allen & Spilka (1967): - Previous definition of religiosity too simple - Committed religious orientation: hold a wide range of beliefs categories through which one can evaluate the world, and one’s ideas about the world and others tend to be more complex and open-minded  Greater tolerance for diversity  More likely to thoughtfully consider different ideas, beliefs, and opinions  Closely associated with non-prejudiced attitudes - Consensual religious orientation: tend to interpret religion more literally and concretely,  Tend to make more generalizations about religious topics  Relative unreceptive to different ideas and opinions  Closely associated with prejudiced attitudes Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Religious Orientation - Allport & Ross (1967): - Extrinsic orientation: use religion for their own purposes, attend church infrequently, and tend to be more prejudiced toward others - Intrinsic orientation: have internalized the values of their religion, live life according to these beliefs, attend church regularly, and tend to be more egalitarian - Criticisms: - Religious Orientation Scale (ROS) is not useful in assessing the religious beliefs of participants in non-traditional religions: Unitarian individuals are more extrinsic than Baptist, but they were less prejudiced - ROS were self-report measures: social-desirability  questionable accuracy  Intrinsic religious orientation ↔ (positively) high scores on measures of social desirability ↔ (negatively) racial prejudice  Controlled for social desirability  negative correlation between intrinsic orientation and racial prejudice nearly disappeared  Intrinsically oriented: ≠ Unprejudiced = More concerned with presenting self as more religious & egalitarian than one actually is - Morris et al. (1989): intrinsic (I), extrinsic (E), indiscriminately antireligious (IA), indiscriminately proreligious (IP)  IA & I lower in prejudice than E & IP  I: not concerned with appearing socially desirable  IP: concerned with appearing socially desirable - Herek (1987):  I: tolerant of only certain types of individuals; does not foster greater tolerance toward others, only unequivocal acceptance of specific others who are accepted by Judeo-Christian teachings  Not positively correlated with racism  But MORE prejudiced than Es toward homosexuals  E: Positively correlated with racism Religion as Quest - Batson et al. (1978): - Quest orientation: sees religion as a process of questioning, doubting, and re-examination in response to the contradictions and tragedies of life  Did not correlate positively with social desirability  Negatively correlated with prejudice  Correlate more with prosocial behaviour Criticisms: - Griffin et al. (1987): extrinsic and quest orientations were not related to prejudice  It is too simplistic to measure a broad religious orientation and correlate it with prejudice; a more accurate assessment of the relation of prejudice and religious beliefs must take into account the influence of the cultural and religious context  Being highly religious  one was very intolerant toward the group that was regarded negatively by one’s church - Supporting evidence: - Altemeyer & Hunsberger (1992): although religious fundamentalism and prejudice were highly correlated, people with question orientation showed little or no prejudice toward wide variety of groups - Snyder et al. (1979): completed a measure of religious orientation, then chose which theatre of the two theatres to sit in (one with a Black confederate one with a White confederate); one group told the two movies were the same, another group told that the two movies were different and were given descriptions of both
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