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Chapter 9

Chapter 9

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Psychology 2720A/B
Richard Sorrentino

Psych 2720A Chapter 9: Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination prejudice: a negative attitude toward members of a group, which is often very strongly held discrimination: negative, harmful behaviour toward people based on their group membership genocide: an attempt to systematically eliminate an ethnic group through banishment or murder Prejudice and Discrimination Today overt discrimination is less common today than 20 or 30 years ago discrimination has been made illegal, and equal access has become mandatory policy for employers in the public and private sectors Dovidio of the University of Massachusetts and Gaertner of the University of Delaware have argued that old-fashioned, blatant racial discrimination has been replaced by more subtle and ambiguous discrimination aversive racism: a modern kind of prejudice held by people who do not consider themselves prejudiced and who would nd any accusation of being prejudiced aversive, but who nevertheless harbour some negative beliefs and hostile feelings toward members of minority groups Implicit Association Test (IAT) has been used to assess respondents automatic, implicit attitudes toward minority groups has been used as a physiological measure of prejudice Stereotypes: Cognitive Sources of Prejudice and Discrimination prejudice is a byproduct of normal human thinking processes key element in the cognitive view of prejudice is stereotypes stereotypes are individuals beliefs that members of a group share particular attributes stereotypes qualify as one kind of a schema - schemas that represent human groups these assumptions can be made quickly and effortlessly and will provide a solid basis for behavioural decisions; allow us to make rapid inferences about target persons Two Costs of Stereotypes: Oversimplication and Negativity we may assume too much uniformity or similarity within groups, nationalities, genders, and occupations outgroup homogeneity effect: tendency for perceivers to overestimate the similarity within groups they do not belong stereotypes are often unfavourable in tone - stereotypes may refer to groups that are believed to be competing with the perceivers group for desired resources (not necessarily the case for prejudice) evidence shows that being in a bad mood leads perceivers to interpret their stereotypes of some minority groups more negatively another reason why stereotypes are often negative is because people may be unfamiliar with members of the targeted group and feel anxious or uncomfortable when interacting with them; people may label their anxiety as dislike for the group anxiety about interacting with members of the group will also lead people to avoid such interactions altogether Stereotypes Distort Information Processing Unfortunately, humans are not open and unbiased processors of information stereotypes (like other schemas) guide attention and interpretation in such a way as to increase the probability that perceivers expectancies will be conrmed. Stereotypes Guide Attention stereotypes affect what the perceivers notice about members of the stereotyped group perceivers are sensitive to information that conrms the stereotype implications in the legal system - a man who is of belonging to a minority group is more likely to be convicted of a crime than a White man Stereotypes Guide Interpretation actions that are ambiguous will be interpreted as consistent with expectations consequently, behaviours that do not necessarily support the stereotype will strengthen it. ie. same behaviours performed by Black and White individuals were more perceived as aggressive and threatening when performed by a Black person damaging stereotype of Black is being aggressive or hostile this nding indicates that the differential interpretations reected knowledge of a cultural stereotype rather than personal prejudice study conducted where they created a video game to shoot people who were holding guns - people in the video game were either armed/unarmed or Black/ White researchers found that participants were faster to judge correctly that Black targets were armed than to judge correctly that White targets were armed this was still the nding even though they had Black and White participants - some researchers concluded that Black people are aware of the cultural stereotype that white skin is more valued than black skin this result showed when they conducted a study of Black and White infants who were placed into a room full of Black and White dolls to observe and see which kind of doll they would choose (Black babies chose the White dolls) The Potential Vicious Cycle of Stereotypes the way you behave towards someone because of an existing stereotype you believe in can inuence the way that person reacts to you Self-Fullling Prophecies Self-fullling prophecy: a process in which a perceivers expectancy about a target person inuences the perceivers behaviour toward the target person in such a way as to elicit the expected actions from the target person researchers studied the way people conducted job interviews. found that people were more favourable (ie. gave more eye contact, more welcoming gestures and questions) to White people which made then in turn, view more favourable in the end. stereotypes of White and Black people affected the way employers conducted their interviews which in turn, affected how the applicants responded, giving themselves a more favourable or unfavourable impression Do Stereotypes Inuence Our Perceptions If We Disagree with Them? researchers agree that even though we dont endorse a particular view to a stereotype, simply knowing about it can inuence our perceptions to study this, Devine from University of Wisconsin used a subliminal priming procedure subliminal priming procedure: a method of activating a schema or stereotype by ashing words or pictures very briey on a computer screen in front of a participant activated the stereotype of Black people by showing neutral words and pictures then, they were asked to read a passage about a man (ethnicity was unspecied) who committed such ambiguous actions with respect to hostility. those participants who were primed of the Black stereotype before reading the passage rated the mans actions as more aggressive and more hostile exposure to words related to the stereotype of Black Americans increased the perceived hostility of ambiguous beahviour for both prejudiced and u
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