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SocialPsych - ChapterNine

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Western University
Psychology 2070A/B

Chapter 9 Chapter 9: Stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination Prejudice and discrimination today - Aversive racism: a “modern” kind of prejudice held by people who do not consider themselves prejudiced and who would find any accusation of being prejudiced aversive, but who nevertheless harbor some negative beliefs and hostile feelings toward members of minority groups Stereotypes: cognitive sources of prejudice and discrimination - The key element in the cognitive view of prejudice is stereotypes o Stereotypes are individuals’ beliefs that members of a group share particular attributes - Stereotypes “efficiently” provide us with information about target persons that can guide behavior; they allow us to make rapid inferences about target persons - Stereotypes also have big costs: o Oversimplification  We may assume too much uniformity or similarity within groups of people, especially with respect to large collections such as ethic groups, genders and occupations  When we rely on stereotypes to categorized and draw inferences about targets, we frequently make assumptions about them that are wrong o Excessive negativity  Often unfavorable because stereotypes may refer to groups that are believed to be competing with the perceiver’s group for desired resources  People may be unfamiliar with members of the targeted group and feel anxious or uncomfortable when interacting with them - Stereotypes can distort information processing in several ways o One way is by affecting what perceivers notice about members of the stereotyped group  Perceivers are sensitive to, and looking for, information that confirms the stereotype o Another way is by affecting how perceivers interpret the behavior of people in the group  Behaviors that do not necessarily support the stereotype will strengthen it  The impact of the targets’ skin color on judgments of whether they were armed or unarmed reflected knowledge of a cultural stereotype rather than personal prejudice - Our stereotypes provide a guide for how to behave toward other people - Self-fulfilling prophecy: a process in which a perceiver’s expectancy about a target person influences the perceiver’s behavior toward the target person in such a way as to elicit the expected actions from the target person o Stereotypes can influence the perceiver’s behavior and the perceiver’s behavior, in turn, can elicit the expected behavior from the target - Subliminal priming procedure: involves flashing a word or picture very briefly on a computer screen in from of the participant, in order to activate a schema - Implicit intergroup bias: distorted judgments about members of a group based on a stereotype, which can occur without the person’s awareness o It is implicit because it is not deliberate and may be unrecognized by the perceiver o Similar to negative implicit attitudes - Meta-stereotypes: refers to a person’s beliefs about the stereotype that out group members hold concerning his or her own group o Influence people’s expectations about their interactions with members of the out group o Ex. People who believe that their group is viewed negatively by an out group tend to anticipate unpleasant interactions with members of the out group Emotional sources of prejudice and discrimination - Four theoretical models of prejudice that revolve around emotional or motivational factors Frustration and prejudice: scapegoat theory - People become frustrated during difficult times and vent their frustration on weak, scapegoat targets - Scapegoat theory: a theory proposing that prejudice occurs because members of dominant groups use discrimination against members of weak target groups to vent their frustration and disappointment o Ex. Jews in Nazi Germany – Hitler provided an excuse for some Germans to vent their frustrations by aggressing viciously against Jewish men Perceived competition and prejudice: realistic group conflict theory - When groups in society are believed to be competing with one another for such things as jobs, housing, political power and health care, hostility can be aroused - hostility can lead to prejudice - Realistic group conflict theory: a theory proposing that when groups in society are perceived to be competing with one another for resources, intergroup hostility can be aroused, which leads to prejudice o Ex. Prejudice against immigrants – immigrants have been perceived to be competing directly with current residents for jobs and social benefits Self-enhancement motivation: Social identity theory - Feeling good about the self, or self-enhancement - Self-enhancement happens not only on an individual level but on a group level as well - According to social identity theory, one important component of people’s identity is their group memberships o Deciding that our in group is better than our out group is one way to enhance our self-esteem - Past studies indicate that derogating
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