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Prejudice_ Stereotypes_ and Discrimination


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									Prejudice, Stereotypes, and
Why do we treat “others” differently?
   Self-esteem of the Oppressed
• Kenneth and Mamie Clark (1947).
  – Demonstrated that black children, as young as
    3, rejected black dolls. Felt that white dolls
    were prettier and generally superior
  – Key point in 1954 Brown vs. Board of
    Education desegregation decision
• Goldberg found similar results for gender
  – Women rated articles as superior if “written” by
    a man (John vs. Joan McKay)
• Swim and others have shown that these
  tendencies have diminished over the years
• Prejudice
  – A hostile or negative attitude toward a distinguishable
    group based on generalizations derived from faulty or
    incomplete information
  – Jussim (1996) counters this to some extent with his
    kernel of truth theory
  – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. – “Trying to educate a
    bigot is like shining a light into the pupil of an eye –
    it constricts.”
  – Very difficult to change prejudice through
• Stereotype
  – Assigning identical characteristics to any
    person in a group, regardless of the actual
    variation among members of that group
  – Not necessarily intended to be abusive, may
    even be a “positive” stereotype
  – They are mental shortcuts like the
    representative heuristic
  – But, if they rob us of our individuality that may
    be problematic
  – Remember the dangers of deindividuation
              Stereotype Threat
• Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson
  – Tried to explain gap in test scores between whites
    and blacks
  – Argued that blacks in test situations may feel
    apprehension about confirming existing negative
    stereotypes of intellectual inferiority
  – They labeled this Stereotype Threat
  – Demonstrated that black students did as well as
    whites on the GRE verbal when led to believe that
    the test itself, and not the student, was being tested
   Stereotypes and Attributions
• Ultimate attribution error – in ambiguous
  situations we make attributions consistent
  with our beliefs and prejudices
• Formation of these attributions then
  strengthen the original prejudice because
  they provide supportive evidence
Gender and Attributions of Success
• Male success is attributed to ability, female
  success is attributed to luck or effort
  – True for male and female perceivers
  – Women frequently do this to themselves,
    particularly in “male” domains (Stipek & Galinski)
• Mindset may be learned from parents
  – Daughters of women who hold strong gender
    stereotypes tend to believe they don’t have much
    math ability
      Gender and Attributions of
• Tennis and attributions for failure
  – Women were more likely to lose a tennis match in
    straight sets (even at the professional level)
  – Nicholls argues that women may give up because
    they attribute the loss in the first set to a lack of
  – Ignores the fact that men have more chance to
    come back since they play 3 sets vs. 2 for women
    Gender and Attributions of
• How might Affirmative Action measures
  impact attributions of success?
  – Turner and Pratkanis found that women who
    believed that they received a job because of
    their gender (not merit) downplayed their own
    abilities and engaged in self-handicapping
           Blaming the Victim
• There is a tendency to assume that those who
  are worse off deserve it in some way
  – e.g., the homeless should try harder to find a job
  – e.g., the often implicit assumption that a women
    who was raped brought it on herself somehow
  – This tendency is even higher in those who have a
    strong belief in a Just World
  – Frightening to think that bad things happen
       Prejudice and Science
• Best source for this type of information is
  Stephen J. Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man
  – Follows the history of people like Louis
    Agassiz, Samuel George Morton, and Paul
    Broca, and the history of IQ debates
  – Each of these individuals wanted to “prove” the
    superiority of their group and allowed their
    biases to taint their science
  – For example, Broca based male intellectual
    superiority on skull size, yet he only used 6
    female skulls. Each of these skulls came from a
    women who died of infectious disease
  – Foresaw the quotes from The Bell Curve
      Prejudice and Self-fulfilling
• Word, Zanna, and Cooper
  – Study One, white interviewers interact with black
    and white subjects
  – Find that interviewers are less “immediate” with
    black subjects
  – Study Two, trained interviewers to treat white
    subjects the same way that blacks had been treated.
  – Independent judges rate the quality of these
    interviewers as less effective than those treated like
    white subjects
  – Belief creates reality
    Automaticity of Stereotypes
• Patricia Devine (1989)
  – Low prejudice individuals exert conscious
    vigilance that reduces stereotyping and prejudice
  – But, when conscious control is is minimized even
    those who are relatively unprejudiced slip into
    automatic prejudice
  – Banaji and Greenwald have recently done a huge
    amount of research that supports this assertion
            Gender Role Socialization
• Traditionally
  – Males are described by instrumental traits
  – Females are described by expressive traits
• These traits lead to behavioral expectations
  – Porter and Geis, in all male group person at the
    head of the table is viewed as the leader
  – But, when group is mixed males are viewed as
    leader no matter where the women sit
  – This interpretation is the same even when
    subjects self-rate as feminists!!!!
    Gender Role Socialization
• Sandra Bem argues for androgyny
  – Should use both sets of traits in the appropriate
  – Further research shows that androgynous
    individuals are perceived as more likable and
    better adjusted
  – However, must combine the traits. Acting
    solely in a cross-gendered manner is evaluated
    very poorly (e.g., highly effeminate male)
  Time to Blame the Media Again
• Visibility of minorities is low on prime-time
  television. One study shows that the
  presence of African-Americans has
  fluctuated between 6-16% over the last 15
  – When present, African-Americans tend to be
    concentrated in virtually all Black situation
           Minority Presence
• Even worse for other minorities in the 1990’s
  – Slightly more than 1% of primetime characters
    were Latino
  – Slightly less than 1% were Asian or Native
  – Presence of gays and lesbians almost non-
    existent. When present they are often presented
    as caricatures
  – Women outnumbered by men 2 to 1, and are
    more frequently portrayed as victims of crime
          Causes of Prejudice
• Are we biologically wired to hate those who
  are not like us?
  – Possible, but even if so, the specifics of
    prejudice must be learned
• Four causes have been researched
  – Economic and political competition, displaced
    aggression, personality needs, conformity to
    existing social norms
Economic and Political Competition
• Prejudice increases during economic difficulties
  – In the west in the late 1800’s attitudes toward the
    Chinese varied greatly depending upon the amount
    of employment opportunities. After Civil War the
    Chinese were hated due to competition for jobs
• Research shows that the most anti-black
  prejudice is found in groups that are one rung
  higher on the SES ladder
  – This variable is confounded w/ educational level
Economic and Political Competition
 • All of this data is correlational and
   descriptive, what about experimental data?
 • Muzafer Sherif – Boy Scout Research
   – Created competition between the Eagles and the
     Rattlers and conflict over scarce resources
   – Even after competition ended animosity
     remained and even continued to escalate
       Misplaced Aggression
• More commonly known as Scapegoating
  – Blaming a relatively powerless innocent person
    for something that is not his or her fault
  – Similar to Freud’s concept of displacement
  – Term is based on ancient Hebrew practice
• Long history – Holocaust, southern Blacks
  – Between 1882-1930 the number of lynchings in
    the south in any give year could be predicted by
    the price of cotton
• Laboratory experiments reveal that we
  scapegoat the following:
  – Groups that are generally disliked
  – Groups that are visible
  – Groups that are relatively powerless
         The Prejudiced Personality
• Are there individual differences in the tendency to
  – Adorno and his research on the Authoritarian Personality
    suggests yes
• Authoritarian Personality has these characteristics
  – Adherence to conventional values (e.g., government,
    church, parents, middle-class)
  – Contempt toward outgroups
  – Superstition
       Authoritarian Personality
• Further characteristics:
   – Resistance to change
   – Belief in censorship and strict laws (people need to be
   – Intolerant of weakness
   – Highly punitive
   – Extremely respectful of authority
• Appears to stem from harsh and
  threatening parental discipline
    Prejudice through Conformity
• Pettigrew suggests that discrimination arrives
  predominately from social conformity
• Prejudiced individuals, particularly
  Southerners, who enter the army tend to
  become less prejudiced
  – More non-prejudicial norms to follow
• Laws and customs may provide the notion that
  one group is inferior to another
  – Segregation laws
  – Affirmative Action?
Can Government Policies Reduce
 Discrimination and Prejudice?
• Desegregation?
  – Key doesn’t seem to be mere contact, but equal
    status contact. Does desegregation insure this?
  – Dissonance research shows that knowing I will
    have to have contact with you reduces my
    dislike of you (all other things being equal)
  – Things are not equal if desegregation leads to
    economic conflict
               Possible Solution?
• Interdependence
  – Sherif finally reduced the conflict between his
    groups of boy scouts by leading them into a
    cooperative task where everyone was important
• Jigsaw classrooms
  – Aronson and his work in cooperative classroom
    environments. Everyone contributes and
    competition is counterproductive in the learning
       A Successful Solution
• Integration of Jackie Robinson into Major
  League Baseball
• Branch Rickey used a number of
  Psychological principles to increase the
  chances of Robinson’s success, including:
  – Psychology of inevitable change (traded players
    who refused)
  – Establish equal status contact
           Jackie Robinson
• Creation of a norm of acceptance (Pee Wee
• Non-violent resistance
• Individuate the new group member
• Undo perception of preferential selection
• Remove institutional barriers (built

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