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There are many approaches to the study of prejudice. How is a psychological approach similar to and different from historical and sociological approaches?
In the past, prejudice was seen through slavery, the Jim Crow Laws, and lynchings. Things have changed through the civil rights acts and desegregation but prejudice still exists today. Psychological approach deals more with context such as religion, mood, and culture. The historical approach deals with the past and how it has influenced prejudice today and the sociological approach deals with social behavior as an interaction between the person and the social situation.
What personal factors contribute to prejudice?
Personal factors such as loweducation, low selfesteem, aggression, religions, personalities, goals, ideologies, moods and prejudiced personalities are believed to contribute to prejudice.
Prejudice is feeling negatively about other groups, a biased evaluation of group based on real or imagined characteristics (affect, emotion)
What is the difference between a ‘cultural’ and an ‘individual’ stereotype? Does the distinction make sense to you, and do you think it matters?
Cultural stereotype describes shared or communitywide patterns of beliefs whereas in individual stereotype describes the beliefs held by an individual about the characteristic of a group. This distinction matters because one’s cultural stereotype about a group may not be the same as one’s individual stereotype about the group. Basically individuals make up the whole, so culture do matter.
Do you think prejudice is best described as ‘negative affect’, a ‘negative attitude’, or a ‘social emotion’? What’s the difference?
Prejudice as negative affect is seen as a strong negative feeling about someone based on a generalization one has about that person’s group. Prejudice as a negative attitude is seen to have a cognitive, affective, and behavioral component. Prejudice as a social emotion is expressing emotional reaction to other groups in the form of anger, fear, disgust or happiness. I think prejudice is best described as a social emotion because although prejudiced people can dislike a group, they will genuinely have positive attitudes toward a specific member of that group.
The book suggests that humans might be either ‘cognitive misers’ or ‘motivated tacticians.’ What’s the difference between the two, and which do think more accurately characterizes people?
Cognitive misers embrace efficiency rather than accuracy of the social world. People are more concerned with developing ways of thinking that are fast and efficient. The motivated tactician is an integral part of the social context, with motivations that vary depending of the nature of the context. People are more likely to apply a stereotype to a target when it supports their desired impression of the person. I think the cognitive misers more accurately characterizes people today because if they have a fast way to categorize others without putting in much thought, they are going to choose the fastest judgments possible so they can move on and be done.
What is attribution theory, and how does it attempt to explain the origins of prejudice and stereotypes?
The attribution theory is how we explain behavior. These causes are attributed to either internal characteristics or situational pressures or other environmental factors. This theory holds that stereotyping and prejudice emerged as a result of cognitive processes that lead people to suspect negative motivations/causes for the behavior of outgroup members.
Summarize the basic ideas behind intergroup dialogue. How is dialogue different from traditional debate?
Intergroup dialogue is a discussion directed toward seeing other people's perspectives or resolution of a particular problem whereas a debate is a formal discussion in which opposing arguments are put forward (winner).
Is categorization of people by groups inevitable? What are the basic/primitive categories, and why are they the basic/primitive categories?
Yes, the human brain almost automatically categorizes similar objects in the environment. This tendency is pervasive and occurs in the absence of learning. Basic/primitive categories include race, gender, and age because they are the most immediate and obvious features of an individual and give information about different distinctions in social behavior among different groups.
What is social identity (theory) and why is it important? Provide examples of some of your own social identities and what functions they serve.
The social identity theory binds the self to social groups, it allows us to belong and feel good about ourselves.. There are 2 ways we can obtain positive selfregard: by one’s own achievements and by the groups to which one belongs. Social identity is important because it’s part of one’s self concept that is based on membership in social groups. Some of my social identities include my family and friends.. They make me feel loved and wanted and also provide me with a place to fit in. When we chant at football games.
What is optimal distinctiveness theory, and how is it similar to and different from social identity theory? What are the socalled ‘competing needs’?
SIT suggests that people sometimes feel a need to identify strongly with a group to enhance self esteem. OIT suggests that our social motives are governed by an alternating tension between our need to be our own unique person and our need to belong to groups. The two competing needs are uniqueness and inclusion. Uniqueness is to feel different from others and inclusion is to feel connected to others. They are competing because we want a balance of both.
In your opinion, is ingroup favoritism the same thing as prejudice? In other words, does preferring your ingroups necessarily imply derogating your outgroups?
Ingroup favoritism is preferring your ingroup over an outgroup and believing that your in group is composed of unique individuals who happen to share some common features and categorizing others, outside of your group as the same. I don’t think preferring those who are similar to you is prejudice, it’s simply choosing to surround yourself with people you like and share common interests with. However, this could lead to prejudice when people put down other groups or attribute negative characteristics to them when favoring their own groups. Just because we favor our ingroups does not mean that we have to dislike other groups.
Describe minimal group research. What does this research demonstrate?
In the minimal group research, participants are randomly assigned to groups; Then the participants evaluate their own groups and others. The results were ingroup favoritism. This suggest that the basis for ingroup favoritism may not be based on similarity or categorization, but rather the common fate of a groups’ members.
What is the illusory correlation effect, and why does it happen?
Illusory correlation is the tendency to perceive a relationship between variables that are only weakly correlated or not correlated at all. When we perceive another group doing an undesirable behavior we are more likely to notice that event because it is an unusual occurrence. Happens among distinctive/rare events. For example, gay guys are flamboyant.
Discuss the various ways that socialization processes cause people to become prejudiced.
Norms suggest that prejudice is accepted and expected and since racist attitudes are held by a vast majority of people, prejudice is accepted. Socialization begins early and categorization is inevitable which can lead to automatized prejudice. Children can be taught prejudiced ways or can learn them through observations of their parents. Even the neighborhood that a child grows up in can provide them with prejudiced tendencies. Institutional racism are attitudes towards the vast majority of people in a society.
How might a selfesteem motive cause someone to express prejudice? What research demonstrates this effect?
Having high selfesteem may allow some people to feel higher above others and think that they have a more sophisticated selfworth. The Fein and Spencer study showed that those who did not selfaffirm rated JAPs to a lesser degree and those who had their ego threatened rated gay males more negatively. Being prejudiced and putting down another group can also raise selfesteem.
Define realistic conflict and relative deprivation, and provide examples of each. Which do you think is a more important source of prejudice?
Realistic conflict is hostility between groups that is caused by direct competition for limited resources. An example can be seen when 2 groups of boys at a camp competed for scarce resources and hostility arouse between the two groups. Relative deprivation is the perception of a relative disadvantage of one’s own group. An example of this is you wanting something, seeing someone else have it, and thinking you deserve it. Example of ? is the integration housing project where they had projects set next to mansions causing property crime and theft.
In the book and lecture, scapegoating was suggested as a source of prejudice. Describe the ideas underlying scapegoating. Do you think it can explain part of peoples’ prejudice against Blacks, Hispanics, and ArabMuslims?
Scapegoating is blaming outgroups for failure to obtain goals. The idea is that when an individual is stopped from attaining a goal, they feel anger which can be similar to a feeling of a disliked group. Both the frustrating agent and the outgroup arouse similar emotions, and tend to become associated in the memory. I think scapegoating does explain prejudice against others, because in the past we’ve learned that these people were bad which in turn has stayed in people’s memories which have been passed down through generations.
What is subtyping, and how does it help to maintain stereotypes? Provide an example
Subtyping is when we create separate categories for members of a group that do not fit our stereotypes. We do this so stereotypes remain intact because the deviant group member is seen as unrepresentative of the whole group. An example of this is seen when women with jobs are called “career women”, when black people are smart called “black intellectuals”, or when black people are wealthy and do more “white things” (like play golf) are referred to as “not really black”.
What does ‘selective attention’ have to do with stereotype maintenance?
Stereotypes enable us to make quick judgments of others by using the least amount of cognitive effort possible. When we learn that the way we think or categorize others is illogical then we will change the way we think about the stereotypeinconsistent information. We do this through selective attention, only paying attention to information that confirms what we already believe and paying no attention to stereotypeinconsistent information. This in turn causes us to expect certain actions from the stereotyped people, and when we are selective and confirm those certain actions, we strengthen our stereotypes.
What is ‘outgroup homogeneity’ and why does it happen?
Outgroup homogeneity is the perception that outgroup members are more similar to each other than they really are. We do this to more easily interpret ambiguous information. This helps us simplify our social environment by categorizing others in that way and helps to enhance our selfconcept by thinking that we do not belong to a homogeneous group in which all members are similar. In other words, we all want to be different and unique so we attribute our ingroups to be diverse and outgroups to all be the same.
How do stereotypes perpetuate themselves in terms of what we encode into and recall from memory, as well as how we interpret ambiguous information?
The more attention we pay to negative aspects of a certain group makes these instances more accessible in memory and become more likely to influence judgments of the targeted group. When making an assessment about a member of a stereotyped outgroup, will draw on our beliefs and past knowledge of that particular group to judge them. Macrae study with labeling skinheads.
How do confirmation biases and attribution processes perpetuate stereotypes?
They allow people to count stereotypes as consistent information while ignoring inconsistent information. When one member of a specific group acts a certain way, then their behavior is automatically attributed to the group, thus confirming the stereotype. (Girls suck at math)
How do our own motivations influence whether we stereotype someone?
Motivation is the process that energizes and directs behavior towards a goal. Motivation can take 2 forms: 1. People can be motivated to avoid bias, thus relying much less on stereotypes and 2. People can be motivated to perceive people according to expectations that they already have, thus relying highly on stereotypes. Regardless, we are either motivated to stereotype or not too, depending on our own characteristics.
What is the difference between integral and incidental affect, and how does each relate to prejudice?
Integral affect is all about the group & originates within intergroup situation and incidental affect is not necessarily about the group and originates outside intergroup situations.. Integral affect relates to prejudice when group members experience discomfort associated with interactions from members of conflicting groups. Incidental affect can foster nationalism which can lead to prejudice of outgroups.
Describe 3 different kinds of prejudice that involve different kinds of integral affect. Why might the different prejudices evoke different affective responses?
One type of prejudice is disgust and fear of another group being contagious. Another type is fear in the form of intergroup anxiety when there is discomfort and anxiety associated with interactions with members of conflicting groups. The third type is ambivalence in the form of aversive racism which is believing that one is egalitarian but still harboring prejudice. These different prejudices involve different feelings, thoughts, and fears which all evoke different reactions and responses. Affect can be positive, but mostly negative.
How does mood (positive and negative) influence stereotyping?
Positive mood reduces systematic processing. Happy people process information less analytically and rely more on stereotypes because they are less motivated to expend the cognitive effort required to avoid stereotypes. These people are more likely to stereotype when under increased cognitive constraints, like distractions. Angry people make more stereotypic judgments whereas sad people do no differ from neutral people. Mildly sad people engage in more careful cognitive processing and are less likely to rely on stereotypes.
Describe terror management theory and how it relates to prejudice. What is the driving emotion that encourages prejudice, according to the theory?
This theory states that fear of one’s mortality increases worldview defense which fosters nationalism, and increases preference for strong leaders and ingroup favoritism. When people are fearful they tend to dislike outgroup members more thus encouraging prejudice.
What is the difference between automatic/implicit prejudice and controlled/explicit prejudice? Do they have different sources and different ways of manifesting?
Implicit is unintentional and unconscious whereas explicit is conscious and controlled. Implicit is based on past experiences with no conscious awareness and should not be an explicit measure because it differs from conscious cognition. Implicit comes from memory and past influences and explicit is expressed openly.
Several studies were described in class that provides evidence for implicit stereotyping. Choose one and describe it, and discuss whether you think its findings apply to real life.
The implicit association test is a categorization task that uses four categories of black, white, pleasant, and unpleasant. Participants were probed with either a picture of a white/black face and either a pleasant/unpleasant word and were told to use a left or right key to indicate good or bad. The results indicate that both blacks and whites are biased against blacks. I think this has to do with society as well as past influences stereotyping blacks with negative aspects. It is installed in everyone’s heads that black people are associated with bad things.
What is the difference between implicit measures of prejudice and explicit measures of prejudice? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? How do implicit and explicit measures relate to one another?
Implicit tests measure attitudes and beliefs without participant’s awareness that they are being measured. These measures reflect the unintended activation of information in memory. Advantages of implicit tests are to eliminate demands of social desirability and selfpresentation, and to predict nonverbal behaviors. Disadvantages of implicit tests include failure to predict behavior, and low reliability. With explicit measures, participants are aware of the nature of the task. Advantages of explicit tests are that behavior is predicted and controlled, tests are practical and easy, and are correlated with each other. Disadvantages of explicit tests are the likelihood of lying. They relate because they can both measure aspects of prejudice and stereotyping.
What is the dissociation model of prejudice? According to it, what distinguishes prejudiced people from nonprejudiced people? How does the MODE model challenge the dissociation model?
According to the dissociation model, there is no correlation between explicit measures of prejudice and implicit stereotyping in lowprejudiced people. Highprejudiced people should show high correlation between prejudice scores and implicit stereotyping. The difference between prejudice and nonprejudice people is that prejudice people let stereotypes influence their behavior whereas non prejudiced people prevent themselves from stereotyping through explicit processes. The mode model states that motivation and opportunity determines attitude behavior processes and that explicit process can override implicit processes. It suggests that some people are extremely racist, some people are mildly racist, and some people are not racist at all.
What is stereotype suppression and rebound?
Suppression is when we try not to think of something and rebound is when the unwanted thought springs back to mind more frequently and with greater strength. The act of trying to inhibit thoughts of stereotypes makes them even more likely to intrude thoughts.
Describe a situation in which stereotype suppression might be an effective prejudice control strategy.
Stereotype suppression is putting forth a conscious effort to not think about someone in terms of a stereotype. Rebound effect is when the unwanted stereotypic thoughts return with more intensity and frequency to influence the person’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
If prejudice and stereotyping can be implicit—that is, unintentional and unaware—should we still hold people responsible for being prejudiced?
Implicit prejudice doesn’t necessarily mean that one is prejudiced; it can also indicate that people in a given society have knowledge of the cultural stereotypes for various groups which is automatically activated when the person thinks about the group. Prejudice has gone from more explicit forms to more implicit forms. Lynchings and other violence have gone to more subtle forms of prejudice. Incarceration rates for black men have gone up since 1960.
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