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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 Prejudice.pdf

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Western University
Psychology 2070A/B

Chapter 12: Prejudice April-12-14 3:27 PM Prejudice: The Ubiquitous Social Phenomenon Measurement of Prejudice - People have become more careful to outwardly act unprejudiced even if they inwardly maintain their prejudiced views — this phenomenon is known as modern prejudice - Using the Implicit Association Test (IAT) — which assesses the kinds of attitudes that people may not be willing to report on a questionnaire (namely, prejudiced attitudes) → Participants respond to words or pictures presented on a computer screen and the researcher judges the responses - People are required to respond extremely quickly; because there isn't time to control their responses, people's "true" attitu des come through Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination Defined - Prejudice is an attitude, and attitudes are made up of three components: an affective or emotional component; a cognitive com ponent, involving the beliefs or thoughts; and a behavioral component, relating to one's actions Prejudice: The Affective Component - While prejudice can involve either positive or negative affect, social psychologists use the word prejudice primarily when referring to negative attitudes about others PREJUDICE: A hostile or negative attitude toward people in a distinguishable group, basedsolely on their membership in that group Stereotypes: The Cognitive Component STEREOTYPE: A generalization about a group of people in which identical characteristics are assigned to virtually all members of the group, regardless of actual variation among the members - Often stereotyping is merely a way to simplify how we look at the world — and we all do it to some extent - Knowledge of stereotypes allows us to make quick, efficient judgements, thereby saving cognitive energy  STUDY:  Mean percentage of gendered wording as a function of occupation area  Job advertisements for male-dominated occupations contain more stereotypically masculine words (e.g., competitive, dominate) than job advertisements for female-dominated occupations  However, the presence of stereotypically feminine words (e.g., support, understand) did not differ for male- and female-dominated occupations Discrimination: The Behavioral Component - Prejudice is the action component DISCRIMINATION: Unjustified negative or harmful action toward a member of a group simply because of his or her membership in that group - In summary, discrimination is sometimes blatant and sometimes subtle; but it is undeniable that discrimination pervades virtu ally all aspects of life What Causes Prejudice? The Way We Think: Social Cognition - The way we process and organize information Social Categorization: Us versus Them - The first step in prejudice is the creation of groups — putting some people into one group based on certain characteristics and others into another group based on their different characteristics - When we encounter a person we rely on our perceptions of what people with similar characteristics have been like in the past to help us determine how to react to this person In-Group Bias IN-GROUP BIAS: The tendency to evaluate in-group members more positively than out-group members - Even the same behavior (e.g., a smile) is perceived more negatively when it comes from an out-group than an in-group member - The tendency to discriminate against the out-group is even stronger when people have chosen their group rather than being randomly assigned to it Why Do We Show In-Group Bias? - The first part is that belonging to a group gives us a social identity - The second part is that having a social identity contributes to feelings of self-esteem Social Identity Benefits - The more strongly one identifies with one's own group, the more likely one is to discriminate against an out-group Self-Esteem Benefits - It gives people a self-esteem boost if they believe that their group is superior and that other groups are inferior Implications of Social Categorization for Reducing Prejudice - One approach is to change people's perceptions of "us" and "them" by promoting a common identity - Another approach is to provide people with an alternative route to self-esteem, so they won't have to step on others What We Believe: Stereotypes The Activation of Stereotypes  STUDY:  Activation od stereotypical belief  When a derogatory comment was made about the black debater, it activated the latent stereotype held by the observers, causing them to lower their rating of his performance - In most of us, stereotypes lurk just beneath the surface - It doesn't take much to activate a stereotype, and, once activated, the stereotype can have dire consequences for how a parti cular member of that out-group is perceived and treated Automatic and Controlled Processing of Stereotypes A Two-Step Model of the Cognitive Processing of Stereotypes 1) Automatic Processing: Occurs whenever an appropriate stimulus is encountered — either a member of a stereotypical group or contact with a stereotypical statement — causing the stereotypes for that group to be accessed from memory → Automatic processing occurs without your awareness — you don't purposefully think these thoughts; they just "happen," and are triggered by the presence of the stimulus 2) Controlled Processing: Occurs with your awareness — as when you choose to disregard or ignore stereotyped information that has been brought to mind The Motivation to Control Prejudice - One factor that influences whether stereotypes are automatically activated is the motivation to control prejudice — in other words, whether we want to be non- Final Notes Page 1 - One factor that influences whether stereotypes are automatically activated is the motivation to control prejudice — in other words, whether we want to be non- prejudiced - Those of us who want to be non-prejudiced are less likely to activate negative stereotypes automatically when we encounter stereotype-relevant cues The Need to Feel Good About Ourselves - Another factor that determines whether we automatically activate stereotypes is whether we will get a self-esteem boost by doing so - We not only selectively activate stereotyped, but also inhibit stereotypes in the service of self-enhancement  STUDY:  Number of racial completions as a function of feedback favourability and manager race  Participants who received negative feedback from a black manager generated more racial words than did those who received negative feedback from a white manager — this is evidence of stereotype activation  In contrast, those who were praised by the black manager pushed the stereotype of black people out of their minds — they came up with even fewer racial word completions than did participants who were praised by a white manager — this is evidence of stereotype inhibition - Most people belong to multiple groups, and we "pick and choose" which stereotypes to activate or inhibit — once again, depending on what will produce the greatest self-enhancement - In short, if we can salvage our self-esteem by activating negative stereotypes about a group, we will do so - However, if a negative stereotype will interfere with a self-esteem boost (e.g., when we are praised by a member of a stereotyped group), we simply push that stereotype out of our minds Meta-Stereotypes - Our level of prejudice depends not only on our stereotype of a particular group, but also on whether we think members of that group have a positive or negative stereotype of us META-STEREOTYPE: A person's beliefs regarding the stereotype that out-group members hold about their own group - The way in which participants expected to be perceived by an out-group member was the most important determinant of their reactions — even more so than their own evaluation of that group - Ironic result is that people can actually end up being more prejudiced toward an out-group member if they are asked to take that person's perspective than if they are not asked to do so Can Prejudice Be
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