Chapter Eleven: Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination
Characterizing intergroup bias:
Stereotypes are beliefs that certain attributes are characteristic of members of
Prejudice refers to the attitudinal and affective response toward a certain group
and its individual members.
Discrimination refers to negative or harmful behavior directed toward members
of particular groups. Involves unfair treatment of others, treatment based not on
people’s character or abilities, but on their membership in a group.
Rejection of explicitly racist beliefs while maintaining an enduring suspicion of
discomfort with or animosity toward African-Americans.
When alone or in no view of anyone else, people are more inclined to help
out black people that need help over white people BUT when there are
people in plain view, people are more inclined to help white people over
Measuring attitudes about groups:
Many surveys and polls are out there attempting to gauge individual feelings and
judgments towards others but in many cases some may not feel confident in
sharing their true feelings in the setting provided.
To prevent feelings of uneasiness, social psychologists have created these newer
The Implicit Association Test (IAT)
o Created by Anthony Greenwald ad Mazarin Banaji
o Technique for revealing nonconscious prejudices toward particular
o A series of words or pictures are presented on a computer screen, and
the respondent is told to press a key with the left hand if the picture or
word forms to one rule, and to press another key with the right hand if
it conforms to another rule.
o Unconscious prejudices are captured by the difference between the
average time it takes to respond.
Example: when determining whether or not someone is prejudiced
against old people you could determine so by looking at the
difference in average time it takes to respond to old faces/positive
words and the average time it takes to respond to old faces/negative
Priming and Implicit Prejudice
o Priming refers to procedures used to increase the accessibility of a
concept or schema. o Logic behind it: if I show you the word “butter” and then ask you to tell
me, as quickly as you can, whether a subsequent string of letters is a
word, you’ll recognize that “bread” is a word more quickly than you’ll
realize that “car” is a word because of your preexisting association
between bread and butter.
o Numerous studies using priming methods have shown that people
often have subtle prejudices against various target groups that they
would steadfastly deny having.
The economic perspective:
From an economic standpoint, groups develop prejudices about one another and
discriminate against each other when they compete for material resources.
Realistic group conflict theory:
Acknowledges that groups sometimes confront real conflict over what are
essentially economic issues. Prejudice and discrimination often arise from
competition over limited resources.
Prejudice and discrimination should increase under conditions of
This theory also predicts that prejudice and discrimination should be strongest
among groups that stand to lose the most from another group’s economic
Example: People in the working class in the United States exhibited the
most anti-black prejudice during the civil rights movement because
working class jobs were now at risk once millions of black Americans were
allowed to compete more freely for these jobs.
Ethnocentrism or glorifying one’s own group while vilifying other groups, is likely
to play out.
The robbers cave experiment:
Muzafer Sherif (1954),
Twenty-two fifth grade boys were taken to Robbers Cave State Park in
Boys had signed up for a summer camp that was actually a study of
All were “average” boys – split into two groups of eleven and taken to
separate areas of the park, at first both the groups were unaware of the
First phase, the groups took part in typical camp activities that fostered
group cohesion and eventually “effective initiators” (those that offered
ideas and the rest of the group went along with it)
Second phase, both of the groups were brought together to take part in a
tournament. Each member of the winning team would receive a medal and
a pocket knife. The effort to bring about competition between the two
groups worked – the groups slandered one another, started food fights,
burned/stole each other’s flags and even physical fights were started. Third phase, devoted to assessing ways to reduce the conflict between the
two groups. The researchers set up tasks in order to have the members of
both groups work together.
o Superordinate goals are goals that could not be achieved by either
group alone but could be accomplished by both working together.
Overall, friendships formed between members of different groups and the
animosity went away.
The motivational perspective:
Intergroup hostility can develop merely because another group exists; no
previous confrontation is necessary.
The minimal group paradigm:
Pioneered by Henri Tajfel, this refers to an experimental paradigm in which
researchers create groups based on arbitrary and seemingly meaningless criteria
and then examine how the members of these “minimal groups” are inclined to
behave toward one another.
Participants perform a trivial task and then are put into groups based on
their “answers” (actually, put into groups at random).
Then, participants are put into a cubicle and are told to assign points,
redeemable for money, to successive pairs of their fellow participants.
o Example: Assign points to “Number four of the overestimate group”
and “Number two of the underestimate group.”
Experiments show that the majority of participants are interested more in
maximizing the relative gain for members of their ingroups than in
maximizing the absolute gain for their ingroup. No matter how minimal
the situation is, they still exhibit a tendency to favor their minimal
Social identity theory:
Tajfel and Turner’s theory that states that a person’s self-concept and self-esteem
derive not only from personal identity and accomplishments but also from the
status and accomplishments of the various groups to which the person belongs.
Example: With being an American comes the pride of us being an
American with our athletes, bill of rights, constitution and declaration of
independent. But, also with being an American comes the shame of slavery
and treatment of Native Americans.
Basking in reflected glory, the tendency for people to take pride in the
accomplishments of those with whom they re in some way associated.
Example: when fans identify with a winning team.
Elaborates the idea the frustration leads to aggression.
From generalized to t