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Chapter 9

Chapter 9- stereotypes, prejudice & discrimination.docx

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Western University
Psychology 2720A/B
Clive Seligman

Chapter 9: Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination Prejudice: strongly held negative attitude toward members of a group Discrimination: negative, harmful behavior toward people based on their group membership Genocide: an attempt to systematically eliminate an ethnic group through the banishment or murder Prejudice and Discrimination Today - Overt discrimination is less common today than 20 or 30 yrs. Ago but it still exists. - Some people can say they are not prejudice, but can still have a bias against certain members of a group (Ex. Of Margot Kidder, people made fun of her bipolar disorder) - Implicit attitudes individuals‟ automatic, unconscious evaluations of a target o Some people possess unfavourable implicit attitudes toward a disadvantaged group but are not consciously aware of these negative automatic responses. - Gaertner and Dovido 1986, argued that „old fashioned‟ blatant racial discrimination has been replaced with a more subtle and ambiguous discrimination - Many majority groups (White Canadians) have conflicted feels toward minorities (Asian and aboriginal Canadians) - Majority group members often support equal opportunities and regard themselves as unprejudiced and undiscriminatory but at the same time also have some negative beliefs and hostile feelings toward minority groups - This is called aversive racism, b/c they do not consider themselves to be prejudice and would find any accusation to be upsetting, but still hold implicit attitudes and discrimination under certain circumstances. - In a study (2000) they reported data from sample of white Americans in 1989 and in 1999 o Predicted that the 1999 would report less blatant prejudice toward black than the earlier sample, but little change over the 10 yr. period in discriminatory behavior when the circumstances provided an excuse o Asked to report their explicit attitudes towards Blacks by indicating if they agree with this: „I would mind if a black family with same income and education, moved next door to my home” o In next sessions they were asked to evaluate (yes or no) a male candidate (either white or black) and possessed either strong, ambiguous are weak qualifications. o It was predicted that when the applicants qualification were clear (strong or weak), subjects would assess them similarly, but when the quals are ambiguous, subjects asses the white applicants more positively than the black guy o The first assessment- less prejudice in 1999 than 1989 o Their predictions were correct: if applicants quals were strong, they chose candidate based on that and not by race in 1989 and 1999 (same for weak) o When they were ambiguous, subjects recommended the white guy more often. And effect in 1999 (77% vs. 40%) was just as strong, or even stronger than the effect of 1989 (75% vs 50%)  Discrimination continued to occur when the circumstances masked it. o Because people are unwilling or unaware of their negative feelings, on question about how favourable are you to this group, they formed the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to asses the respondents‟ automatic attitudes towards minority groups o Facial EMG has been used as a physiological measure Stereotypes: Cognitive Sources of Prejudice and Discrimination - Key element in the cognitive view of prejudice is stereotypes - Def.: individual beliefs that members of a group share particular attributes - It‟s a type of schema- ones that represent human groups - Becomes problematic when you go beyond the info given Oversimplification - We assume too much uniformity within groups of people: ethnic groups, nationalities, genders and jobs - Outgroup homogeneity effect* - In contrast to categories of inanimate objects (plants), humans are not uniform nor predictable o Poison ivy is always itchy, apples always grow on tress, fire is always hot but lawyers are not always wealthy, women are not always emotional etc. o Stereotypes of large groups can be oversimplified and when applied to one person, it can be inaccurate. Negativity - Stereotypes may refer to groups that are believed to be competing with the perceiver‟s group for desired resources - For ex. Believing that immigrants are close-knit (family loving) can be a neutral feeling, but lets say if a person is in a bad mood, you can interpret it as cliquey or secretive (negative qualities) - People can be unfamiliar with members of a targeted group and feel uncomfortable when interacting with them, thus label their anxiety as the dislike for the group. Stereotypes Distort Info Processing - Negativity and oversimplification wouldn‟t be problematic if we processed info in an unbiased way. - For example: you initially assume that Michelle is conceited because she comes from a rich family - This negative view can be corrected with the perceiver remained open to new information - However, humans are not open and unbiased processors of info b/c stereotypes guide our attention and interpretation in such a way the probability that perceiver‟s expectancies with be confirmed. Stereotypes Guide Our Attention - Can distort info by affecting with the perceiver noticed about members of a stereotyped group - Sensitive to looking for info that confirms the stereotype - In the example above, perceiver is more likely to look for negative qualities that confirm the „conceited‟ characteristic about Michelle - A study done in a simulated courtroom setting Galen Bodenausen (1988) o Gave subjects info about the legal case involving a 24 yr. old man accused of criminal assault o Info provided to them was mixed: some supported guilty, others supported the innocent verdict o The victim and defendant were fighting at the bar that night (guilty verdict), but no eyewitness could identify the attacker (innocent verdict) o Before reading the case, some subjects were told it was a guy named Rob from Ohio, others were told it was a guy names Carlos from New Mexico o Stereotype of Hispanic men is that they're aggressive o It was predicted that the subjects who believed the defendant was Hispanic might pay more attention to evidence suggesting aggressions than subjects who thought the defendant was white (which was correct) o Also, subjects in Carlos condition gave more extreme judgments of guilt than the other group o The stereotype of Hispanic men increased participant‟s attention to the evidence supporting a guilty verdict. Stereotypes Guide Our Interpretations - Ambiguous actions will tend to be interpreted as consistent with expectations - So behaviours that don‟t really support it, can strengthen it - Sagar and Shofield (1980) showed grade 6 boys drawings of Black and White models engaged in potentially aggressive behaviours o Predicted that they would rate the exact same actions as more aggressive with a Black person than a white person o Also, the bias toward interpreting the behavior as more aggressive when performed by a black guy more than when a white guy performed it was equally strong for Black and white - it was concluded that this reflected knowledge of a cultural stereotype rather than a personal prejudice - Corell and colleagues (2002) did a set of studies in a video game procedure o White subjects had to decide fast whether the male target was armed or not o Sometimes the target was black or white o They had to press shoot if they thought the target was armed and don‟t shoot if unarmed o They earned points and loss points for correct and incorrect responses - this rule was crucial to keep participants from responding slowly to avoid errors and also to make the situation real life (police officers have to do) o Across 3 experiments, white participants were faster to judge correctly that black target were armed than to judge is white targets were armed o Participants were slower to judge correctly that Black targets were unarmed than white targets were unarmed  The stereotyped of black men interfered with their ability to identify black target as unarmed compared to white target o Errors when confronted with an unarmed target, participants were more likely to shoot when the target was black o When confronted with an armed target, participants were more likely to push don‟t shoot when the target was white. o In real life, they can lead to prediction that unarmed black men are more likely to be shot in error by police officers than white men o Also, even black participants erroneously interpreted unarmed black targets as armed more often  Cultural stereotype rather than personal prejudice Potential Vicious Cycle of Stereotypes - Maybe people, who we stereotype, behave in a certain way because of how we react to them. Self-Fulfilling Prophecies Stereotype about group  expectancies about target  behavior toward target  Behavior from the target (which confirms the stereotype about group) - Perceiver acted in such a way as to make his own prophecy come true - Carl Word and colleagues in 1974 recruited students to be interviewers for people applying for a job o The interviewers were all White and the job applicants were compliances of the experiments o White and Black applicants were treated differently.  Interviewing the white applicants lasted longer and the interviewers exhibited more nonverbal behaviours (immediacy-eye ndntact, forward lean) o Did a 2 study and did it reverse- All white job applicants and interviewers were compliances of the experiments o They were treated like the white applicants in the 1 study or treated like the black applicants o Then judges rated performance and judged the longer interviews and more nonverbal behaviour significantly better than the performance of the applicants that had shorter interview and less nonverbal behavior o Thus the differential treatments in the first experiments was shown to be enough to create differences in the actual performance of the applicants in the 2 experiment - If targets are aware of someone‟s expectancy for them, they may work to disprove it, especially when it is negative - But many cases, targets are unaware that perceivers have strong expectancies for them, which makes the self fulfilling prophecy more likely Do Stereotypes Influence Our Perceptions If We Disagree with them? - Subliminal priming procedure: a method of activating a schema/stereotype by flashing words or pictures very briefly on a computer screen in front of subject - Devine (1989) used procedure to activate the stereotype of Blacks in some of the white participants. o Subjects do perceive such stimuli subconsciously and concepts related to the words become activated in memory o Half of the subjects were exposed to serious brief presentations of words that were related to the black stereotype (Negro, blues, ghetto) o Other half were presented with neutral words that related to the black stereotype o Devine assumed that a common black stereotype includes hostility; some white subjects would agree but most of them are all aware. o Then all subjects were to complete a task and give a written description of a young man (race unspecified) and engaged in several ambiguous actions with respect to hostility - his actions could be seen as positive or negative o Participants rated his hostility o Subjects who have the black stereotype activated rate the guy to be more hostile - thus activating stereotype increased the likelihood that ambiguous actions would be interpreted as hostile, since it is part of the stereotype. o Activated indirectly ** the words to prime Black stereotype (negroes, ghetto) are not directly related with hostile o The unprejudiced participants showed an effect of the priming manipulation o In real life, encountering a black person will almost certainly activate the black stereotype. Implicit Intergroup Bias - Distorted judgments about members of a group based on a stereotype, which can occur without their awareness - Intergroup bias b/c it reflects distorted unfavourable judgments about members of an outgroup - Similar to negative implicit attitudes - Devine 1989 suggest that everyone may show some implicit intergroup bias, even those who disagree with stereotype - Other research Kawakami and her colleagues (1998) found that low-prejudice white subjects showed no evidence of implicit intergroup bias against black Canadians, whereas high prejudice white subjects show this bias - Other research shows that unprejudiced people seek out info to disconfirm common stereotypes Meta-Stereotypes - Refers to a person‟s belief about the stereotype that outgroup members hold concerning his group - Varies according to which particular outgroup is considered - Vorauer et. al. (1998) surveyed White students and found that there was a substantial agreement among the participants on how White Canadians are viewed by Aboriginals unfair, materialistic, egocentric, close-minded o Refers to how white Canadians beliefs about how they are viewed by aboriginals o Showed that meta-stereotypes influence ppl‟s expectations about their interactions with members of the outgroup. o Believing that members of an outgroup evaluate one‟s ingroup negatively might cause hostile, aversive interactions Emotional Sources of Prejudice and Discrimination Frustration and Prejudice: Scapegoat Theory Scapegoat theory: it proposes that prejudice happen because members of dominant groups use discrimination against members of weak target groups to vent their frustration and disappointment - Hovland and Sears (1940) did correlation between the number of lynching of black Americans between 1882 and 1930 and the price of cotton over the same period o Hypothesized that black men became targets of angry white Americans when cotton prices were low o Significant negative correlation between cotton prices and lynching: as prices went down, lynching went up - Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Hitler was angry against Jews in Third Reich saying that they had too much economic power and they‟re to blame for the impacts of the depression Perceived Competition and Prejudice: Realistic Group Conflict Theory - Realistic Group Conflict theory: when a group in society are perceived to be competing with one another for resources, intergroup hostility can be aroused, which leads to prejudice - Wars over disputed land (India and Pakistan fight over Kashmir) - Legal battles over natural resources (lawsuits from first Nations people for the rights to land - Immigrants*** competing with residents for jobs and social benefits o Leads to people to oppose open and lenient immigrant policies - Sherif and colleagues (1961)- Robber‟s Cave Experiment o At a summer camp, boys were told that they were going to have sports competition and which ever team wins gets a prize o The 2 groups expressed hostility and prejudice towards people of the other team and engaged in discriminatory behavior o Think of colour war or Walden games** - Sometimes its competition over important values o People may believe that members of another group (Pakistan immigrants to Canada) bring with them values and customs that threaten the status quo o Symbolic rather than economic o Mohipp and Morry (2004) found that perceived threats to symbolic beliefs were associated with negative attitudes toward gays among straight students o More gays were perceived to violate traditional meaning of family and marriage Self-Enhancement Motivation: Social Identity Theory - Positive emotional benefit of derogating outgroups: feeling good about the self (self enhancement) - Group membership is important to people‟s identity and we strive for a positive social (group) identity - Hirt and colleagues (1992) had students watch their school‟s basketball game. o After game, students reported their self esteem and estimated their own future performance on tasks o When their team won, participants reports higher self esteem and made more optimistic predictions about their own future performances than when their team lost o When their ingroup (university team) proved to be superior to an outgroup, people felt better about themselves - Eye of the Storm film (1971) with teacher Jane Elliot who divided her grade
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