The Psychology of Prejudice- Chapter 1 Notes Groups are the basic building blocks of society Humans have found that they could live longer and happier lives within the society imposed by the power of certain groups (government) People within a group form closer ties to others in group Tend to be suspicious and rejecting members of other groups Group members tend to favor their own groups (ingroups) over others to which they do not belong (outgroups) When randomly assigned to groups, people tend to show preference for members of their own group over those of other groups ?minimal group Prejudice: negative feelings about other groups Stereotypes: believing certain characteristics are associated with other groups Evolutionary psychologists suggest ingroup preferences and hostility toward outgroups are adaptive, and therefore innate; there is little we can do to avoid prejudice and stereotyping Why we study prejudice and stereotyping: To understand the negative influence All history?s battlers, wars, and other acts of group violence have been driven by some form of prejudice, stereotyping and/or discriminating Stereotype: the tendency of people to think of someone or something in similar terms- that is, having similar attributes- based on a common feature shared by each Stereotypes tell us what social information is important to perceive and to disregard in our environment Allport- ?a stereotype is an exaggerated belief associated with a category The Social-Cognitive definition Brigham defines stereotyping as: a generalization made about a group concerning a trait attribution, which is considered to be unjustified by an observer Problem with this definition: a stereotype is any generalization about a group Hamilton and Troiler?s definition: a cognitive structure that contains the perceiver?s knowledge, beliefs, and expectations about a human group Their definition is more like a schema Schema: a cognitive structure that represents knowledge about a concept or type of stimulus, including its attributes and the relations among those attributes Stereotypes are more specific and are subsumed within a schema *Ashmore and Del Boca?s defintion: a set of beliefs about the personal attributes of a group of people Cultural stereotypes: shared or community wide patterns of belief Individual stereotypes: describes the beliefs held by an individual about the characteristics of a group One cultural stereotype about a group may not be the same as one?s individual stereotype about the group Lippmann suggested: we tend to perceive that which we have picked out in the form stereotyped for us by our culture Is a Stereotype an attitude? Some researchers believe a stereotype is similar to an attitude Attitude: a general evaluation of some object Viewed as falling somewhere on a good-bad or favorable-unfavorable dimension Attitudes comprise three components: a behavioral component, an affective component, and a cognitive component Some researchers believe: stereotypes represent only cognitive portion of any intergroup attitude; affect and behavioral components correspond to prejudice and discrimination Discrimination: any negative behavior directed toward an individual based on their membership in a group An intergroup attitude is composed of one?s thoughts or beliefs about, feelings toward, and behavior toward a particular group Positive versus Negative Stereotypes Researchers do not regard stereotypes as being bad or good, they are merely generalizations about a group Prejudice as a negative affect Allport defined prejudice as: an antipathy based upon a faulty or inflexible generalization. It may be directed toward a group as a whole or toward an individual because he is a member of that group Seen as strong negative feeling about someone based on a generalization one has about that person?s group Traditional view of intergroup attitude: cognitive, behavior, and affect Prejudice as an attitude Prejudice can be based on affective (anger), cognitive (beliefs linking hostility to the outgroup), or behavior (avoidant or hostile) sources an can result in cognitive, behavioral, or affective expressions of prejudice Stangor Sullivan, and Ford- negative outgroup prejudice is not negative feelings about the outgroup, but rather a lack of positive emotions Prejudice as a social emotion Self-categorization theory states that people view themselves as a member of social category or group (e.g., a racial, national, ethnic, religious groups etc) Appraisal: a set of cognitions that are attached to a specific emotion Emotion is triggered by an assessment of the adaptive significance and self-relevance of the people and events in one?s environment Fear: emotion is brought out when situation or individual is out of one?s control Smith?s model of prejudice: Too vague to say prejudice is a positive/negative feeling about another group because our emotional reactions are too specific- fear, anger, disgust Traditional concept of prejudice: if we are prejudice against another group, then we should react with the same negative affect to all members of group Does not fit reality because prejudice people can dislike group as a whole, but can have genuinely positive attitudes towards a specific member (friend, neighbor) Subtyping: prejudiced individuals maintain a negative affect toward the group, but create a separate category for specific members How we react to any given outgroup member depends on: What self-category is salient for us at the moment In what context the interaction occurs (competitive, cooperative etc) How that person helps/hinders our movement toward salient personal or group goals at that time Prejudice: Occurs between groups Involves an evaluation (positive/negative) of a group Is a biased perception of a group Is based on the real or imagined characteristics of the group A biased evaluation of a group, based on real or imagined characteristics of the group members The link between stereotyping and prejudice: Thinking about a group will elicit from memory the schema about the group- stereotypes, affect, behavioral tendencies toward members of that group Intergroup attitude comprises one?s belief about evaluation of and behavior toward a group Concepts tend to be grouped/linked together in memory under the organizing structure of a schema Balance theory: one?s attitude, behavior, and evaluation toward another person should be cognitively consistent, or else one experiences a state of ?imbalance,? which is an aversive state of ?cognitive arousal? When we say one thing and do another we feel foolish or hypocritical Theory of reasoned action: our beliefs about a group will be determined by our attitudes toward a group Beliefs (stereotypes) would not be consistent with one?s attitudes (or prejudice) toward the group Individual differences in stereotyping Hovland, Janis, and Kelly found that persuasion messages were more likely to be successful when directed toward a certain type of audience Less educated, distracted, lower self-esteem tended to be persuaded easily than others Hull, Skinner, Miller, and Dollard suggested that a primary reason that certain attitudes are formed and maintained was because such attitudes was followed by reinforcing events (e.g., social approval) Stereotyping can be explained by Thorndike?s Law of Effect: any behavior that is followed by a positive event will be more likely to be performed again in the future Realistic-conflict theory: prejudice and stereotyping of outgroups arises when groups compete against one another for scarce resources (e.g., jobs, food, land etc) Cognitive-dissonance theory: people are motivated to maintain consistent cognitions (or consistency between cognitions and behaviors) and that the lack of cognitive consistency led to an aversive physiological state (dissonance) From the standpoint of attribution theory, stereotyping and prejudice emerge as a result of cognitive process that lead people to disproportionately suspect negative (threatening) motivations or causes for the behavior of the outgroup Behaviorism: if one can understand the lawful relationship between an organism and its environment, then one will be able to predict the organism?s behavior from an assessment of the characteristics of the environmental stimuli present at any given moment We all react to the same stimuli in the same way, however, humans do not react the same way to a given stimuli Elevator example (pg. 18): objectively it is the same act (stepping on foot), but your behavior, affect, and attitude toward someone are quite different depending on your construal, or interpretation of the reasons for the behavior Tajfel asserted that stereotyping was a result of a very adaptive, efficient categorization process of cognition Categorization Miller: showed the connection between categorization and stereotyping, and that categorization was an inevitable aspect of human cognition We learn about different stimuli and tend to group them in terms of common features, attributions, or functions Categorization helps reduce the complexity of the stimuli in our social environment We categorize other people in terms of who is like us and who is not like us ?us? and ?them? ?Basic? or ?primitive? categories? categorizing others in terms of race, gender, and age Difference between the categorization of physical objects and people: with physical objects (pencil) there is usually only one way to categorize the object (writing instrument); with people, there are many ways (race, age, gender, hair color, occupation) and the way we categorize the target individual depends on the involvement, motivations, and interests of the perceiver The Cognitive Miser Cognitive miser model: people are much more concerned with developing ways of thinking about the world that are fast and efficient Reasons: if one is able to form an impression quickly, the anxiety associated with not knowing how to behave toward, or what to expect is eliminated; there are few, and often no, negative outcomes for arriving at inaccurate assessments of others Main goal seems to be to arrive at the fastest judgments or evaluations possible The Motivated Tactician View of the social perceiver incorporates the cognitive perspective, but also includes the motivational and affective factors into an understanding of how intergroup social interactions and social categorization influence the attitudes, affects, and behavior of the perceiver Perceiver is an integral part of the social context, with motivations that vary depending on the dynamic nature of the context, can bias how the person perceives another Cognitive-motivational approach: categorization elicits the need to view one?s ingroups positively relative to one?s outgroup People are more likely to apply a stereotype to a target when it supports their desired impression of the person (Kunda and Sinclair) Motivation: impetus to do some behavior (or avoid doing some behavior), and to keep doing it, in order to meet one?s goals
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