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Prejudice

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									          Prejudice

 Hostile, negative attitudes toward a
distinguishable group of people based
solely on their membership in a group
     What causes prejudice?
Nature?
   Biological survival mechanism
Nurture?
   Learned from our parents, society, teachers, etc.
Mental bi-product?
   Social categorization: Us vs. Them
   In-group bias: + feelings & special treatment for people in our
    group and – feelings & unfair treatment for people not in our
    group
   Out-group homogeneity: perceiving individuals not in our
    group as more similar to each other than they really are as well
    as more similar than the members of the in-group are
Stereotype
A generalization about a group of people
where identical characteristics are assigned
to virtually all members regardless of actual
individual variance
Not necessarily emotional, not necessarily
intentional, does not necessarily lead to
abuse: can be a way of simplifying the
world (remember schemas?)
Gender, race, occupation, religion, hair
color…
    Can we ‘undo’ stereotypes?
Bookkeeping Model: information inconsistent with a
stereotype leads to a modification of that stereotype
(accommodation)
Conversion Model: information inconsistent with a
stereotype leads to a radical change in the stereotype
Subtyping Model: information inconsistent with a
stereotype leads to the creation of a new stereotype to
accommodate the information with out changing the
initial stereotype (assimilation)
    Two Step Model of Cognitive
    Processing
The return of automatic vs. controlled processing as they
apply to stereotypes
Automatic: pops up with the right stimulus (member of
stereotyped group, stereotypical statement, etc.) causing
stereotype to be accessed from memory
   Occurs without awareness…you don’t think stereotypical
    thoughts on purpose
Controlled: aware of the occurrence of stereotypical
thought access
   For example, choosing to ignore stereotypical information
Discrimination vs. Reverse
Discrimination
Discrimination: an unjustified negative or
harmful action toward a member of a group
solely because of their membership in that
group.
Reverse discrimination: an unjustified
negative or harmful action toward a
member of a group solely because of their
membership in that group.
Ultimate Attribution Error
Tendency to make dispositional attributions
about an entire group of people
   Differs from Fundamental Attribution Error in
    that you make attributions about a GROUP, not
    an individual
Bodenhausen (1988)
   College students were more likely to find a
    defendant guilty of a crime if his name was
    Carlos Ramirez rather than Robert Johnson
But flip the coin…
    Affirmative Action & Quotas
Set of laws requiring employers to hire
employees from diverse ethnic back-grounds
Applies to public university admissions as well
Forcible desegregation of work and college
environments
Heavily criticized in the present day; does it still
have a use?
   Sprit vs. application
    The Bell Curve
Book by Herrnstein & Murray, 1995
Suggested statistically significant differences in
academic performance between African, Anglo, and
Asian Americans
   There IS a difference on academic tests w/ considerable
    overlap
   Traditionally, Asian outscore Anglo who outscore African
    Americans
   So question is not does it occur (yes) but why?
Recall the stereotype threat
   Remember, also applies to gender
    Blaming the Victim
Tendency to blame individuals (dispositional
attributions) for their victimization
 Usually motivated by the “belief in a just world”
 Aimed at the homeless, traditionally oppressed
  persons (e.g. Jews), etc.
 Janoff-Bulman, Timko, & Carli, 1985

 Wagstaff, 1982
       33% of surveyed Brits believed that victims of rape are
        “almost always to blame for it.”
         Realistic Conflict Theory
Limited resources lead to conflict between groups
and result in increased prejudice and discrimination
 Italian vs. Irish immigrants
 Hovland & Sears, 1940
      Correlated price of cotton in Southern states from 1882 to 1930
       with the number of lynchings of southern African Americans in
       the same time frame
      VERY strong negative correlation (r = -.72)

   Sherif, Harvey, White, Hood, & Sherif, 1961
        Classic “boy scout” experiment with “eagles” and “rattlers”
      Institutionalized Racism, Sexism
Institutionalized Racism: racist attitudes held by the vast
majority of us because we live in a society where
stereotypes and discrimination are the norm
Institutionalized Sexism: sexist attitudes held by the vast
majority of us because we live in a society where
stereotypes and discrimination are the norm
Normative Conformity: go along with the group to gain
acceptance and fulfill the group’s expectations
   Non-conformity has consequences but can invoke change
   Rosa Parks, Sydney Poitier
   “By far the greatest determinant of prejudice is slavish
    conformity to social norms.”
    What’s good for the goose…
Members of the “in-group” can behave one way
but if members of the “out-group” behave in
that same way, they are perceived as mocking,
insulting, or in violation of a social norm thus
furthering the “us vs. them” distinction
   Speech patterns, behavior, etc.
Prejudiced behavior can change with
convenience as well as time
   Alabama Governor George Wallace
    What reduces prejudice?
May be reduced by equal status contact between
majority and minority groups in the pursuit of common
goals.
   Helps if sanctioned by institutional support (e.g. laws,
    customs, norms, etc.)
   Applications to desegregation (jigsaw classroom)
   Mutual Interdependence: situation where 2 or more groups
    need each other and depend on each other to accomplish a
    goal important to both
Education, proper models, intolerance for prejudice on
the highest and lowest levels

								
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