Social Cognition

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					SOCIAL COGNITION




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SOCIAL COGNITION




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SOCIAL COGNITION

   Introduction p.4-17

   Social cognition p.18-59

   Social perception p.60-74

   Social representations p.75-82

   Prejudice and discrimination p.83-130

   Conclusions p.131-134




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     SOCIAL COGNITION

INTRODUCTION
                Social psychology is the field of
                psychology that studies the influences of
                other people on our behaviour.


                Social psychology considers the ways in
                which other members of the species
                influence us and bring about an
                influence on our behaviour.


                Individuals may influence us and create
                situations of leadership and obedience.
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          SOCIAL COGNITION

  INTRODUCTION



Groups of people may influence us and cause us to   Society in general may
conform or become ‘one of the crowd’.               influence us and cause
                                                    us to act in certain ways
                                                    to conform to cultural
                                                    norms.
     The culture of our society may
     influence us by its history, politics or
     even language.


                                                                                5
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 INTRODUCTION


Social psychology focuses its research on social behaviour, in other words, between
individuals and groups.
Other people, social contexts and interactions are, in the eyes of the social psychologist, just
as important in the formation of our behaviour as our personality might be.


So the behaviour and emotions of others exert influence on us.
All behaviour is studied in a social context; we act in
a certain way because of the influence of our society
around us.

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     SOCIAL COGNITION

INTRODUCTION


            We all meet and interact with a number of people everyday.

    How we react in their presence is of vital importance to the social psychologist.




                                                                                        7
     SOCIAL COGNITION

INTRODUCTION



        If we are in a crowd of people, does that have an effect on us?


                  Why do some people become aggressive?


               Why do some people act in an anti-social way?

                      Why are some people prejudiced?

                                                                          8
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 INTRODUCTION


We have previously mentioned that dealing with one approach in
psychology, this time the social approach, is unlikely to offer all the
explanations required about behaviour.


Behaviour will be affected by biological and physiological influences, as well as social
influences.
Social psychology considers people within their society and not in a vacuum.

Social psychologists look at social influence, social cognition, behaviour and social
development in the following areas:
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          SOCIAL COGNITION

  INTRODUCTION


Social influence includes the following:

Conformity

Obedience

Leadership

Crowd behaviour



                                           10
            SOCIAL COGNITION

  INTRODUCTION


Social cognition includes the following:

Social identity

Attitudes

Stereotyping

Emotion



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             SOCIAL COGNITION

  INTRODUCTION


Social behaviour includes the following:

Aggression

Discrimination

Attracting

Helping others



                                           12
          SOCIAL COGNITION

  INTRODUCTION


Social development includes the following:

Gender

Attachment development

Social expectations

Cultural influences



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         SOCIAL COGNITION

INTRODUCTION                 A reminder that the social psychologist uses the following
                             methods to investigate:

Field experiments Experiments are carried out in a natural setting but with variables.

                    The participants do not know that they are taking part in an
                    experiment.



Surveys, interviews These are used to collect data about people’s feelings and attitudes.
and questionnaires
                    The disadvantage is that people may not always tell the truth.



                                                                                            14
        SOCIAL COGNITION

INTRODUCTION             A reminder that the social psychologist uses the following
                         methods to investigate:

Observations       These can be useful to record results in situations where people
                   might not always tell the truth, such as on topics like discrimination
                   and prejudice.


                   This is the analysis of people’s speech or writing for example,
Content analysis   where meanings are identified that might have been influences of
                   society.
                   The disadvantage is that the analyser would find it difficult to be
                   objective.
                                                                                         15
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 INTRODUCTION


Social psychology has been applied to many areas of society where people are of the utmost
importance:
Criminology – juries and their decisions
Industry – selection and management of people, group dynamics

Education – the stereotyping and lack of aspirations on the part of teachers for certain pupils


Environment – the effect of people’s surroundings on their behaviour

Health – social issues that have an effect on our health and cause stress
                                                                                             16
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 INTRODUCTION


In the ‘Social Psychology’ unit, we considered issues of conformity and minority influence
and how we change our behaviour to ‘fit in’ with other people.



In ‘Social Cognition’, we shall consider other elements of social power where people have
the power to influence another person’s thoughts feelings and behaviour.


We will be considering the areas of social cognition, prejudice and racism.
Let’s start with social cognition and examine what this means exactly.
                                                                                             17
           SOCIAL COGNITION

                              So what is a definition     Social processes, such as
    SOCIAL COGNITION                                      the rules and norms of
                              of ‘social cognition’?
                                                          our society, but also the
Firstly, what is ‘social      It is a study of the ways   process of applying
cognition’?                   in which people             cognition – in other
Social cognition is the way   interpret themselves and    words identifying,
in which we make sense of     their interaction with      recognising and giving
ourselves, others and the     other people.               value to other people and
situations we find                                        our environment so that
                              It is a question of         we can make sense and
ourselves in, on a day-to-
                              understanding social        meaning of them.
day basis.
                              processes.



                                                                                 18
           SOCIAL COGNITION

    SOCIAL COGNITION                Why people behave as     So, what is ‘attribution
                                    they do and what         theory’?
We need to be able to make          information we use to    It is how people
sense of why people behave as       decide why they have     interpret the behaviour
they do.                            acted in this way is a   of others and of events.
                                    main feature of
As human beings, we have an         ‘attribution theory’.    An attribution is a
overwhelming need to decide on                               person’s belief as to
the characteristics that make up                             what caused an event or
a person and to form an                                      behaviour.
understanding of our world and
theirs. This does not just apply
to others but includes ourselves.

                                                                                        19
           SOCIAL COGNITION

    SOCIAL COGNITION               What is a ‘disposition’?   We exhibit behaviour all
                                                              day long but our friends
In other words, we infer what                                 and family will have come
we believe to be the cause of a   A ‘disposition’ is a        to expect certain types of
particular behaviour.             tendency that we have       behaviour from us.
                                  to respond to a certain
                                                              They will know our
Often people’s behaviour          situation in a particular
                                                              personality and expect us
is determined by the              way.
                                                              to react in certain ways in
situation that they are in
                                                              certain situations.
rather than their
personality or disposition.



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           SOCIAL COGNITION

                                    Our behaviour will be       Your usual extrovert
    SOCIAL COGNITION
                                    different in different      friend is not going to
                                    situations but our          display her talkative and
In other words, a person might
                                    characteristics tend to     bubbly personality during
be considered by others to have
                                    be fairly static.           your A2 Psychology final
the disposition of being
                                                                examination because of
talkative, kind, devious,
                                                                the situation that she is
generous, extrovert or forgiving.
                                    However, when that          in. The situation
                                    person is in a particular   determines her behaviour,
                                    situation, they may not     in this instance, not her
                                    appear to display their     personality.
                                    usual dispositions.



                                                                                      21
           SOCIAL COGNITION

    SOCIAL COGNITION

The danger with social cognition     The problem with this is that we can make false
is that we may well make             assumptions.
decisions about placing people
in certain categories, as we think
that we have interpreted their       It can lead to judging people incorrectly or with
behaviour.                           prejudice or ill-conceived ideas.




                                                                                         22
          SOCIAL COGNITION

   SOCIAL COGNITION

By judging causality ( what has
caused a particular behaviour), we
can attribute information as to why
someone behaved in a particular
way or even why we did ourselves.
All of this may lead us to the
wrong conclusions and
discrimination and prejudice can
rear their ugly heads at this point.


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           SOCIAL COGNITION

    SOCIAL COGNITION                 So, internal causes         ‘Attribution of causality’,
                                     relate to a person's        in other words, deciding
                                     disposition to cause        on the causes of
Attribution theory, or attribution   them to behave in a         behaviour, has given rise
of causality, as it is also known,   certain way.                to many theories and
consists of making a distinction                                 research studies over the
between the internal causes of a                                 years.
                                     External causes can also
person’s behaviour and external      bring about certain         We shall consider some of
causes.                              behaviour when we take      the most major ones in a
                                     into account the            moment.
                                     situation that the person
                                     is in.


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            SOCIAL COGNITION

                                  We need to remember that we are constantly inferring
  SOCIAL COGNITION                causes of behaviour in all those people who are around
                                  us.

Observing            We view people’s actions

                     We infer reasons for their behaviour – we may find out
Inferring            additional information to include in the interpretation


Judging              We interpret and judge their behaviour




                                                                                      25
          SOCIAL COGNITION                 We infer external and internal
                                           causes for people’s behaviour.
    SOCIAL COGNITION

                                                Internal causes:
Internal causes might be:
                              Physical factors, such as health, mood, hormonal
                              changes, attitudes, skills or lack of them, general
                                          dispositions of personality


                                               External causes:
                             Economic conditions, climate, ‘chance’ happenings,
External causes might be:         social pressure and demands of others



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           SOCIAL COGNITION                 We infer external and internal
                                            causes for people’s behaviour.
    SOCIAL COGNITION

                                  Attribution theory deals with the explanation of
Let’s now consider attribution   events and behaviour that people see taking place
theory.                                            around them.



                                  These include Kelley, Jones and Davies and
Various theories have            Weiner. We shall consider these individually but
been put forward:                                    first….




                                                                                     27
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                     Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION

Attribution of causality involves people interpreting events and considering why
people behave in the way they have done.
Heider (1958) was one of the first to put forward a theory of attribution
of causality.
Attribution theory means that people try to attribute (allocate) causes and
reasons for behaviour.
Trying to understand why someone did something may lead you to
consider a variety of causes for that behaviour.



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         SOCIAL COGNITION                                    Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                       Harold Kelley’s Theory

Kelley (1967) put forward the view that we need three types of information to
attribute the reasons for behaviour:

Distinctiveness information
Consensus information
Consistency information




                                                                                        29
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                       Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                            Harold Kelley’s Theory

He called this the ’co-variation principle’.
This was a pattern that we look for in behaviour and actions of people that we
know. We then try to compare this behaviour with that of other people.
He posed the question is behaviour stable over time, or does it only happen in a
particular situation and how would most people behave under the same
circumstances?
He gave the example of a man shouting at a dog.




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          SOCIAL COGNITION                                     Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                         Harold Kelley’s Theory

Is the event more to do with the man (the internal cause)?
Or, is it more to do with the dog (the external cause)?
Is the man’s behaviour consistent i.e. does he always do this or is this a one-off
situation?
The distinctiveness of the example is to ask the question ‘does the man do this with
all dogs or just this one’?
We also seek consensus – ‘Do all people do this?’
 If they do, then we judge that the dog must be at fault and the dog is the cause of
this behaviour not the man.
                                                                                          31
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                   Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                        Harold Kelley’s Theory




So Kelley was looking at the following areas:




                                                                                        32
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                     Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                          Harold Kelley’s Theory

Distinctiveness information

This is information that we can glean about
the stimulus.
So, for example, if Julie argues with her
father, the stimulus is distinctive (her father)
if she only argues with him and with nobody
else.



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          SOCIAL COGNITION                                     Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                          Harold Kelley’s Theory

Consensus information

This is information that we can glean
about the person, Julie.
If other people argue with Julie’s father,
then there is a high consensus for Julie’s
arguing. If, however, nobody else argues
with him, except Julie, then there is a
low consensus for her behaviour.


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          SOCIAL COGNITION                                       Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                         Harold Kelley’s Theory

Consistency information
This is information that we can glean about the circumstances
of the situation.
The time and place of the argument may have a significant
importance.
If Julie argues with her father in many different situations and
at all times of the day, there may be a high consistency.
If she has only argued on this one occasion at this particular
time, then there is a low consistency.

                                                                                            35
         SOCIAL COGNITION                                    Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                        Harold Kelley’s Theory

Conclusions
 This model makes some predictions about
 people’s conclusions when judging
 behaviour, if they are given information
 about these three factors.
 If you vary the information about
 consistency, distinctiveness and consensus,
 different judgements will occur about the
 behaviour involved.


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          SOCIAL COGNITION                                    Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                        Harold Kelley’s Theory

Conclusions
Criticisms have been made of this model because it is rare for people to have all
this information about all three types of sources of information available when
they are judging behaviour.
We generally have to guess some of the factors.
Sometimes we do not need to have all of the factors in a situation. Behaviour in
certain situations does not require causal analysis.
We know why people cry at funerals or the police stop the traffic on the
motorway, when a serious accident has occurred.

                                                                                         37
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                     Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                     Jones and Davis’s Correspondent Inference Theory

Jones and Davis ( 1965) consider that behaviour can have many effects. It is only
the effects and the original action that produced those effects that we can consider
because this is what we see.
Their model considers how we reason from what we have observed and the
subsequent effects of the behaviour carried out to inferring what the person
intended who carried out the behaviour.




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         SOCIAL COGNITION                                   Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                   Jones and Davis’s Correspondent Inference Theory


Take, for example, Person A making a malicious remark to Person B (the action).
How do we decide that A wanted to hurt B (the intention) and that A is a nasty,
malicious person (the disposition)?




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          SOCIAL COGNITION                                      Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                     Jones and Davis’s Correspondent Inference Theory

Correspondent Inference Theory (CIT) focuses on whether someone’s disposition
confers with their actions.

So was Person A’s remark and the hurt that it caused Person B the result of Person
A being nasty and malicious?
Jones and Davis decided that the answer to this sort of question was a double
response:
It needed an attribution of intent and an attribution of disposition.



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          SOCIAL COGNITION                                     Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                       Jones and Davis’s Correspondent Inference Theory

Attribution of intent
In order to attribute intent to Person A (in other words to say that Person A
deliberately set out to hurt Person B), the observer must think that Person A knew
the effect that the remark was likely to have.
This is known as the knowledge condition.
It also supposes that the observer thought that Person A could carry out the task.
This is known as the ability condition.



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          SOCIAL COGNITION                                     Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                     Jones and Davis’s Correspondent Inference Theory

Inferring that Person A wanted to hurt Person B is only judged possible if
knowledge and ability are present in the situation – in other words, Person A
wanted to hurt Person B and had the ability to carry this out.

In order to attribute intent to Person A (in other words to say that Person A
deliberately set out to hurt Person B), the observer must think that Person A knew
the effect that the remark was likely to have.
If, on the other hand, the observer feels that Person A is incapable of carrying this
out, then the observer would have to conclude that no hurtful intention was being
made.

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          SOCIAL COGNITION                                     Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                    Jones and Davis’s Correspondent Inference Theory



If knowledge and ability conditions are accepted and it is considered that Person A
could have carried these out, then the next stage is to consider the disposition of
Person A.
Could Person A have behaved differently? Or does this action have a single effect
that no other would have?
Also the action is not likely to have been approved of by others. The action can be
said to have a low social desirability.
So, the observer is likely to conclude that Person A is nasty and malicious.

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         SOCIAL COGNITION                                    Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                   Jones and Davis’s Correspondent Inference Theory

Conclusions
This theory does not take into account unintentional behaviour, such as laughter or
clumsiness, over which there is little control.
It may also be difficult to apply attributions to people that we do not know,
complete strangers, as we will not have background information about them, which
we might have about Person A, for example, so our conclusions may be skewed by
what we know already about our acquaintances.




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          SOCIAL COGNITION                                       Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                             Weiner’s Theory

Weiner (1974) considered achievement attribution.
He believed that when we are successful, ability, effort, task difficulty, and luck are
the most important factors affecting attributions for achievement.
Attributions are classified along three causal dimensions:
locus of control, stability, and controllability.




                                                                                            45
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                     Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                           Weiner’s Theory


The locus of control dimension has two issues: internal versus external control so
achievement may be due to the person (internal) or the situation (external).
So your own skill or ability is internal but help from a teacher or just good luck are
external.




                                                                                          46
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                    Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                          Weiner’s Theory


The stability dimension considers whether causes change over time or not.
Your intelligence, for example, is stable but your changes in mood are unstable.




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         SOCIAL COGNITION                                    Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                         Weiner’s Theory


Controllability contrasts causes over which you can have some control, such as
skill/efficiency,




from causes which you cannot control, such as your mood, other people’s actions
and luck.



                                                                                        48
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                    Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                           Weiner’s Theory


Weiner put forward the theory that people assess whether:
•A task is a success
•A task is a failure
•If they were responsible for the success or failure
•If someone else was responsible for the success or failure




                                                                                         49
            SOCIAL COGNITION                                  Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                           Weiner’s Theory


This assessment leads to a positive or negative emotion:
•Pleasure
•Disappointment
•If they were responsible for the success or failure
•If someone else was responsible for the success or failure
•After we have made this analysis, we may then experience other emotions in the
light of other knowledge, pity, compassion, sympathy


                                                                                         50
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                    Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                           Weiner’s Theory


Weiner’s theories are important in that they have been tested to decide on people’s
expectations of others and their behaviour in the future.
Research has shown that Weiner’s theories can be tested effectively in gender trials
where a woman’s success can be attributed to external factors, whereas a man’s will
be seen to be due to his ability or intelligence.




                                                                                         51
         SOCIAL COGNITION                                   Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                         Errors and Biases

Research studies show that people who make attributions can often be biased in the
way that they explain events.
When we consider a person’s behaviour, we are more likely to consider internal
factors, such as their disposition, what the person is normally like.




                                                                                       52
         SOCIAL COGNITION                                    Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                         Errors and Biases

The Fundamental Attribution Error was termed such by Heider in 1958.
We can attribute behaviour incorrectly in circumstances because we are attempting to
predict a stable world around us. We overestimate dispositional factors because we
think that we know the person well and underestimate situational factors when
making attributions.




                                                                                        53
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                      Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                             Errors and Biases

People can explain their own successes and failures by ‘self-serving biases’. This
distorts the attribution process for their own ends.
People will often attribute their successes to themselves and their own ability




but their failure to external factors, such as bad luck, unfairness or other people.


                                                                                           54
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                    Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                           Errors and Biases



However, when explaining their own behavior in a situation, there is a tendency to
find external reasons for behaviour; when judging others’ behaviour, internal
reasons about their disposition are likely to be taken into consideration.
We take credit for positive events but blame negative effects on outside factors. We
adopt a self-enhancing bias as this presents us in the best possible light.




                                                                                         55
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                       Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                              Errors and Biases

You can say ‘I really put in a great deal of work for that exam’, if you have done
very well in it.
On the other hand, if you have not been as successful as you wanted, you might
want to say, ‘ this year’s paper was particularly difficult’, or ‘the teacher was awful
in that subject so I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been because of him’.
This is a self-serving bias – you take credit for the positive but blame someone or
something else for the negative.
In this way, you maintain your self-esteem.


                                                                                            56
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                    Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                           Errors and Biases



How many times have you heard a classmate say:


             I haven’t done any work
               for tomorrow's exam!



………….and then get the top mark in the class?
This is another example of a self-serving bias that is known as self-handicapping.
                                                                                         57
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                     Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                            Errors and Biases

You make an attribution before the behaviour is carried out.
In this way, if you do well, people will think that you are very able; if you do not
do well, people will attribute your lack of success to the fact that you had not
prepared properly for the exam, not that you are not very able.
You protect yourself by attributing a handicap to the situation before you even
enter it.




                                                                                          58
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                     Attribution of Causality

   SOCIAL COGNITION                                           Errors and Biases

Conclusion
The attribution process is vital in forming our impressions of other people.
We consider behaviour and the circumstances in which this behaviour occurred.
We find causes for their behaviour and this helps us to anticipate the behaviour
that we can expect from them in the future.




                                                                                          59
         SOCIAL COGNITION

                                  We have prior expectations about how we expect our
SOCIAL PERCEPTION                 social world to function.



We have in our minds a ‘social             We arrive at the post office, we
schema’ of how situations and              queue in a line, we wait patiently,
society should function.                   we step forward when a clerk is
                                           ready to deal with us, we ask for
This is an expectation of what
                                           what we want, we pay the amount
should happen in certain social
                                           due, we leave the post office.
situations.




                                                                                       60
          SOCIAL COGNITION

                                      We have prior expectations about how we expect our
 SOCIAL PERCEPTION                    social world to function.

This is the natural sequence of               These schemata allow us to predict
events.                                       what other people are likely to do in
                                              our society. We are not taken by
We would not expect to push our               surprise and we can successfully
way to the front of the queue and             interact with others because we have
then not pay for the stamps that we           a good idea of their reactions.
had asked for.




                                                                                           61
         SOCIAL COGNITION

                                   We have prior expectations about how we expect our
 SOCIAL PERCEPTION                 social world to function.
Linked to this is categorisation.
We categorise information and people
into units.
When we observe someone, we can
categorise into male/female,
black/white.
We also do this with occupations and
attach a stereotype (a mental image)
to our image of what a person should
appear like.

                                                                                        62
          SOCIAL COGNITION

                                        We have prior expectations about how we expect our
 SOCIAL PERCEPTION                      social world to function.


Mention science professor, librarian,
Latin teacher, fisherman and images
will spring into your mind directly.
The chances are that we have
                                                 Amo
distorted the image and bias and
error has come into our judgement.               Amas
                                                 Amat




                                                                                             63
         SOCIAL COGNITION

                                    We have prior expectations about how we expect our
 SOCIAL PERCEPTION                  social world to function.

           Confirmatory Bias                      The False Consensus Bias
This type of bias occurs when we try
                                            This is when we assume that we
to link information with some that
                                            understand other people’s behaviour
we already hold.
                                            and attitudes because we have
So, if you are told that Suzanne is a       injected our own feelings and
doctor, you will conjure up                 patterns of behaviour onto their
information about caring doctors and        actions.
match her with a stereotypical image
of a caring female doctor.


                                                                                         64
         SOCIAL COGNITION

                                      We have prior expectations about how we expect our
 SOCIAL PERCEPTION                    social world to function.

   Social and cultural stereotyping             Social and cultural stereotyping

Let’s consider now what stereotyping          The topic of nationality will often
is and why we feel that we need to            produce stereotypes:
stereotype people.
                                              Just ask someone to conjure up an
                                              idea of a ‘typical’ nationality and
Stereotypes involve characteristics
                                              stereotypes will appear hard and fast.
that we attribute to people, often
because of our own habits, tastes and
hopes.

                                                                                           65
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  SOCIAL PERCEPTION                      Stereotyping

           Stereotyping                                 Cues
Pennington (1986) said that               So when we need to remember
stereotyping involves:                    people, we may remember them
Categorising people into groups           through cues, such as their
based on visible cues.                    nationality, their gender, their
                                          religion or their physical appearance.
These cues will be gender,
nationality, appearance, religion, for    In this way, we have already put
example.                                  them into a group with similar
It is then assumed that all people of     characteristics, in other words we
the same category will have this          have stereotyped them.
characteristic.
                                                                                   66
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  SOCIAL PERCEPTION                  Stereotyping

           Stereotyping                             Content


We may not have much                  The content of the stereotype may
information about the person but      change with time and fashions.
we have assumed that a group of
people share common                   Stereotyping is seen as negative
characteristics and we have placed    because it can lead to hostility – ‘they
that person in a group without        are not one of us’ attitude.
knowing much about them.



                                                                                 67
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  SOCIAL PERCEPTION                 Stereotyping


           Stereotyping                            Stereotyping

Stereotypes can lead to prejudice    If we encounter someone from the
and many studies have                stereotyped group whom we like, we
demonstrated this.                   tend to believe that this person must
We tend to dismiss information       be an exception to the rule, rather
that negates our view of the         than assuming that the ‘rule’ must be
stereotype that has formed in our    incorrect.
minds.


                                                                             68
        SOCIAL COGNITION

 SOCIAL PERCEPTION                       Stereotyping




Stereotypes organise incoming information for us and allow us to process information,
                                    it is argued.
            Where does a stereotype come from in the first place though?

                                                                                        69
     SOCIAL COGNITION

SOCIAL PERCEPTION                      Stereotyping



  Why are Chinese people seen to be loyal to the family?


  Why are Germans seen to be hardworking and industrious?


  Why are Americans seen to be materialistic?


  All of these are stereotypes but do they have an origin in the truth?
                                                                          70
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  SOCIAL PERCEPTION                   Stereotyping


           Stereotyping                              Stereotyping

There is a ‘grain of truth’ theory.    Augoustinos and Walker (1995) put
This implies that there are some       forward the theory that the stereotype
characteristics of the gender, race    reflects the economic and social
or whatever, that are true for the     standing of the group at a particular
group in question.                     point in time when the stereotype
                                       was conceived.




                                                                                71
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  SOCIAL PERCEPTION                    Stereotyping

           Stereotyping                               Stereotyping
                                        So if there is violent crime, people
Illusory correlations can occur too.    may blame an ethnic group for it
A group of people and an event          even though they have no evidence to
may be linked to form a                 suppose that there is a link between
stereotype, although there may be       them.
little or no truth in that link.
                                        Hamiliton and Gifford noted that a
                                        correlation occurs in people’s minds
                                        if two distinct actions take place.


                                                                               72
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  SOCIAL PERCEPTION                    Stereotyping


             Stereotyping                             Stereotyping
If travellers move into the area and    Manstead (1995) put forward the
petty crime rates rise, people          theory that stereotypes are ‘cognitive
assume the two are linked.              energy saving devices’.
They do not wait to acquire             They are employed if the cognitive
evidence but make the relationship      process might be complex or if the
between the two events                  person is in a more emotional state.
automatically.



                                                                                 73
    SOCIAL COGNITION

SOCIAL PERCEPTION

      Stereotyping
                     Usually society views stereotyping
                     as a negative process because of
                     the risk of prejudice and hostile
                     behaviour.

                     Negative emotions and
                     discrimination are
                     generally seen to be the
                     outcomes of stereotypes.


                                                          74
          SOCIAL COGNITION                           SOCIAL REPRESENTATIONS


Social psychologists have also              Theory of Social Representations
discovered that people from the   Moscovici (1981) produced a theory of Social
same culture will in many cases   Representations in an effort to comprehend our
share the same view of the        psychological functioning in a social context.
world around them.
                                  Moscovici considered Durkheim’s ideas to formulate
                                  his theory.
These shared ideas are known as
social representations.           However in Moscovici’s case the theory and ideas
                                  were seen to be constantly changing as society
We share the ideas, listen to     evolved. He also believed that different groups and
them through the media,           sub-groups contributed to the one society.
exaggerate them and we make
sense of our world by using
them.
                                                                                        75
          SOCIAL COGNITION                                       SOCIAL REPRESENTATIONS




The role of representations that are formed, in Western society, for example, is to formulate
the notion that an aspect of society is ‘conventional’ and is then placed in a category.



                                                                                                76
SOCIAL COGNITION                            SOCIAL REPRESENTATIONS




    Once they are formed, they are accepted as conventional.
We include them in the way we think about the world around us.
                                                                     77
    SOCIAL COGNITION                               SOCIAL REPRESENTATIONS


Theory of Social Representations


                                   Social representations become almost like the
                                   theory of ‘common sense’ once enough people
                                   accept them– we accept a version of a situation
                                   as ‘normal’.




                                                                                     78
SOCIAL COGNITION                  SOCIAL REPRESENTATIONS


                        Theory of Social Representations


                   Social representations are therefore the ideas and
                   images that we have and collectively share
                   amongst us in a society.
                   Through the ideas and the pictures in our mind
                   of what is conventional, we can build a picture
                   of what is social reality.




                                                                        79
         SOCIAL COGNITION                         SOCIAL REPRESENTATIONS

Two main ideas that Moscovici
                                          Theory of Social Representations
put forward are anchoring and
objectification.                Anchoring is our need to classify unfamiliar objects
                                or situations and try to attach them to a category
                                with which we are familiar. So, if we see someone
                                behaving in an unconventional manner, we can say
                                that they must be mentally ill, bereaved or give
                                them a different label.


                                Objectification is the process of explaining complex
                                ideas or situations by transforming them into more
                                simplistic issues that we can more readily understand.


                                                                                       80
    SOCIAL COGNITION                               SOCIAL REPRESENTATIONS




Knowledge is ‘objectified’ - we attach an object to explain a difficult notion – a
butter mountain to explain the EU’s problem with quotas and subsidies in the 1980’s,
for example. The issue was more complex than just having a pile of butter that was
unwanted but by explaining it in this way, we could comprehend a difficult idea.




                                                                                       81
          SOCIAL COGNITION                             SOCIAL REPRESENTATIONS

Social representations emphasise
how pre-existing information                 Theory of Social Representations
lends its influence in             The theory of social representations shows how pre-
interpreting what we experience    existing information influences our social perception.
and believe.
                                   Criticism has been made of this theory.
                                   Critics feel that too much emphasis is placed on the
Unfamiliar objects or people are   cognitive and not on the social dimension. In other
‘objectified’ into our already     words, they focus on an individual’s thinking and
well-known schemas and we          interpretation and not on social production of
then can understand them much      knowledge.
more readily.


                                                                                            82
          SOCIAL COGNITION
                                                                               Why do people
                                                                                not like me?
  Prejudice and discrimination


Let’s now turn our attention to prejudice and discrimination.
Firstly, what are they and how do they differ?

We all accept that prejudice and discrimination exists in the world. Some of us may well
have been victims of one or both.
Reasons for prejudice or discrimination can be gender, age, disability, physical features,
member of an ethnic minority.
Zimardo et al. (1995) defined prejudice as ‘ a learned attitude towards a target object,
involving negative affect (dislike or fear) and negative beliefs (stereotypes) that justify
the attitudes’.
                                                                                               83
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  Prejudice and discrimination

Prejudice is literally a ‘prejudgement’ – we formulate our ideas about a group and judge
them before we know much about them or even have met them.


                                                                        I’m a nice guy.
Prejudice brings about a certain type of behaviour – normally
negative rather than positive.


Prejudice can bring about a negative behaviour toward the target
group.



                                                                                           84
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  Prejudice and discrimination


Social psychologists use the word ‘discrimination’ to describe behaviour towards certain
people because they are of a certain group.


Discrimination can be positive or negative. To ensure that women are
represented in parliament, a movement to encourage women to become
parliamentary candidates could be seen as positive discrimination for the
women but negative discrimination for male candidates.




                                                                                           85
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  Prejudice and discrimination

Allport (1954) deciphered the five behavioural stages of ethnic prejudice and was one of the
early pioneers into research on prejudice.
He identified five stages of behaviour:
Verbal denigration
Avoidance
Discrimination
Physical attack
Extermination


                                                                                          86
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  Prejudice and discrimination

He categorised these five stages by the following actions:

Verbal denigration – racist jokes

Avoidance – segregation so as not to mix with a particular ethnic group

Discrimination – treating a group in a different way to others

Physical attack – violence against people and their property

Extermination – complete eradication of a group, as seen in the second world war
with the Nazis attempting to exterminate the Jewish population
                                                                                   87
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  Prejudice and discrimination

Prejudice is an attitude and was also divided into three issues that compose prejudice:


Affective – our feeling towards the target group
Cognitive – our beliefs about the target group

Behavioural – our ways of behaving towards the target group
Often these three are balanced and all will take place.




                                                                                          88
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  Prejudice and discrimination

Is there a connection between discrimination and prejudice?


Affective – our feeling towards the target group


Cognitive – our beliefs about the target group


Behavioural – our ways of behaving towards the target group


Often these three are balanced and all will take place.
                                                              89
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  Prejudice and discrimination

Is there a connection between discrimination and prejudice?

Prejudice is an attitude which can be, but may not be, translated into action and
behaviour.
Discrimination may not necessarily stem from prejudice.
In Nazi Germany all Germans had to accept by law that Jews were not German
citizens and could not vote or hold public office.
Discrimination was required by law and a German could not allow a Jew to run
for public office even if that person would have been an ideal candidate.


                                                                                    90
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  Prejudice and discrimination

Is there a difficulty in distinguishing between discrimination and
prejudice?
The answer to that question has to be ‘yes, sometimes’.
In the 1930s, LaPiere travelled across America with a Chinese-American couple,
stopping off at hotels, restaurants and campsites.
This was a period when there was prejudice against Asians in America and no
laws preventing racial discrimination.
After the trip when they were only refused service on one occasion, LaPiere sent
a letter to the establishments asking whether the proprietors would accept
Chinese guests?

                                                                                   91
         SOCIAL COGNITION

  Prejudice and discrimination

92% answered ‘no’.

Prejudice appeared to have been widespread but he concluded that it was perhaps
because he (a white American) had accompanied that Chinese couple that
resulted in them being made welcome.
It was also dubious whether the proprietors believed that their guests would have
been prejudiced, even if they themselves were not.
Since this experiment, other researchers have carried out experiments between
attitudes (prejudice) and behaviour (discrimination).



                                                                                    92
          SOCIAL COGNITION                       Prejudice and discrimination

   RACISM
                                       Racism                     Institutions can adopt
Racism is a term to describe the   Racism can appear in           racism, known as
prejudice and discrimination       various forms.                 institutionalised racism.
that groups are subjected to who
appear to be racially different.   Individuals can have           Whole societies can be a
                                   prejudiced beliefs.            part of this such as
Racism can also involve a belief                                  Nazism or Apartheid
that some races are biologically   Groups of people can
                                                                  South Africa in the last
superior to others and therefore   share prejudiced beliefs
                                                                  century.
more intelligent than others.      about other groups.




                                                                                        93
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice




Psychologists are interested in how discrimination and prejudice come about in people.



Realistic conflict theory and prejudice states the conflict of interest between various social
groups.
This has occurred in the past when frustrating conditions have occurred with the issue of
employment, housing and land rights, for example.


                                                                                                 94
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice




History has shown that even if immigrant workers are initially accepted in to a society, they
will be less welcome if the economic climate changes and jobs become more scarce. They
then become scapegoats as they are blamed for the change in economic climate.
In this case, the immigrants find that prejudice begins and people become hostile to them.




                                                                                             95
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice

If there is a conflict between two groups, building negative stereotypes of both groups
assists in supporting discrimination.
We have only to consider the negative views that men held of women as women struggled
to achieve equal rights in terms of voting and equal pay.
Women were deemed to be totally unsuitable for public office, for example, but very
suitable for domestic work and other lowly paid occupations.




                                                                                          96
        SOCIAL COGNITION

Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice




Muzafer Sherif et al. (1961) is an excellent example of an experiment that reflected realistic
conflict theory and prejudice.
The experiment considered the link between competition and prejudice and discrimination.




                                                                                            97
         SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice

Twenty two white middle class boys who had no known problems were chosen at a summer
camp at Robber’s Cave State Park in America.

The boys were divided into two random groups which did not have any contact for the first
week and experienced activities that should have led to teambuilding and cohesiveness.




                                                                                        98
         SOCIAL COGNITION

Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice




Once the two groups came into contact, the issue of ‘them’ and ‘us’ was obvious.
Competitions between the two groups became conflict between them with the losers of the
competitions stealing the prizes that the winning group had won.
Boys developed stereotypes for the opposing group, seeing them as ‘losers’. Competition for
trophies had bred stereotypes, conflict and discrimination.
All of this had taken place in just two weeks.



                                                                                         99
        SOCIAL COGNITION

Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice

Realistic conflict theory offers a social perspective on why prejudice occurs.

Economic and/ or political changes take place between groups.
In the 19th century, prejudice against Chinese workers varied according to the economic
climate.
When they were part of the gold rush in California, there was much prejudice against them.




                                                                                          100
        SOCIAL COGNITION

Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice




When they helped to build the railroads, a task that few American labourers wanted to do
because of the harsh nature of the work and the poor pay and conditions, there was little
prejudice towards them.
After the Civil War ended and there was a surplus of able-bodied men seeking jobs,
prejudice returned towards the Chinese community.                                      101
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice

Henri Tajfel




Henri Tajfel wrote an article, ’Cognitive aspects of prejudice’ in 1969.
Until this date psychologists had tended to believe that prejudice was caused by an
abnormality in personality – that people who displayed prejudice did so because they
wanted to dominate.
Tajfel denied this.                                                                    102
          SOCIAL COGNITION

  Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice

 Henri Tajfel
Tajfel had survived the
Holocaust, although most of his
relatives had not been so
fortunate.
He subsequently devoted most of
his remaining life to attempting
to understand and explain why
prejudice such as that displayed
against the Jews could occur.


                                                            103
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice

Henri Tajfel


He identified processes that he
believed led to displaying prejudice
and in terms of Social Identity                    Categorisation
Theory (SIT).
He divided the theory into                        Assimilation
categories:
                                              Search for coherence


                                                                     104
           SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice

Henri Tajfel

                                                           Tajfel noted that if people
Categorisation                                             place things in different
                                                           categories, they believe
This first process classifies                              that there are huge
people, objects and events                                 differences between them.
into categories.




                                                                                         105
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice

Henri Tajfel
Categorisation
On the other hand, if they are placed in the same category, they will underestimate the
categories between them.
So people whom they consider in different groups to themselves, are considered very
different. The ‘us’ and ‘them’ scenario.
This becomes the beginning of stereotyping.




                                                                                          106
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice

Henri Tajfel
Assimilation
This second process incorporates the norms and values that we learn in society.
We learn from the people that surround us, our family, friends, teachers, ethnic group or
social class.
We adopt their vision of the world and their opinions of others.
In turn, they become our opinions.



                                                                                            107
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice

Henri Tajfel
Search for coherence
People want their world to make sense. We all seek coherence in our world.
New situations lead us to adjust and cope by using the values and beliefs of the social group
to which we belong.
So, our opinions and views are shaped by others around us but these do not alone explain
why prejudice takes place.
To do this Tajfel put forward his ‘social identity theory’.


                                                                                           108
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice

Henri Tajfel
Social identity theory
Tajfel believed that our own personal identity comes from being part of a group.
Secondly, that we all want personal self-esteem.
Social identity theory assumes that everyone would like to see themselves in a positive light.
We want to have a positive self image that others can admire.
Our social identity comes partly from the social group to which we belong so consequently
we consider that this social group is positive and to be admired.


                                                                                            109
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice

Henri Tajfel
Social identity theory
Those who are not part of this group are not in the same positive light.
Their own group will be viewed with in-group favouritism.
People outside of their group will be on the receiving end of a negative out-group bias.
Prejudice and discrimination will be foisted on those who are in the out-group. Group
identification will be at the root of prejudice, as well as the need to have a positive self
image.


                                                                                               110
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice
Henri Tajfel
Minimal groups
Tajfel carried out experiments using complete strangers who did not know each other.
They were called minimal groups because they had no connection with each other and
therefore minimal links could be made between the individuals.
Although the participants had no contact with each other, they did show a strong link to
the ‘groups’ in which they had been placed.
Participants showed clear discrimination in favour of their group.
Bearing in mind the participants did not even have contact with each other, imagine how
much stronger the feelings would be in a society where people knew each other.
                                                                                           111
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice
Henri Tajfel

Minimal groups
The conclusion in this experiment is that prejudice is inevitable.
Being part of a group leads the participants in this experiment to develop in-groups and
out-groups.
Discrimination happened because people need to belong to groups, groups that are
successful boost your own self-image and consequently you feel more positive about
yourself.



                                                                                           112
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice


Henri Tajfel



Social change
Individuals can reject the group to which they belong.
Some people may want a higher social status so move groups through progress in their
education or career.



                                                                                       113
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice


Henri Tajfel



Other people may want to change the image of the social group to which they belong. This
is called social creativity and examples are black civil rights in America in the 1960s when
being black was seen as being ‘beautiful’.
Others may want to compete socially in an effort to change the category in which they
stand. Becoming a revolutionary or terrorist allows you to attempt to break down the status
quo.

                                                                                          114
          SOCIAL COGNITION

 Origins and maintenance of discrimination and prejudice

Henri Tajfel


Conclusions
Social identity theory shows the building up of in-group members and out-group members.
They can then adopt a positive self-image.
The building up of out-group members explains negative discrimination and prejudice.
It must be remembered though that no one theory is likely to explain all the prejudice and
discrimination that people display in the world today. We cannot always neatly categorise all
forms of prejudice.

                                                                                          115
         SOCIAL COGNITION

 Reducing prejudice and discrimination


Already you will be aware of the damaging effects of negative discrimination and
prejudice in our society.
Eradicating them is a desirable but difficult task.
We would hope that a more ‘global’ world and economy might lead to a reduction
in prejudice as people see themselves as part of very large societies, rather than
just a small parochial one.
We might imagine that if people have contact with a wider breadth of society,
prejudice should lessen. A noble thought but this is not always the case.


                                                                                     116
         SOCIAL COGNITION

 Reducing prejudice and discrimination


The contact hypothesis is a hypothesis that states the view that if people have
contact between each other then there will be less discrimination or prejudice
between them.
Perceptions will change on contact and people will realise that a group is made up
of many different types of people. The idea that ‘they are all the same’ will be
eliminated.
This should lead to better relationships and less hostility.
However research has shown that this idyllic scenario is not always true.


                                                                                     117
        SOCIAL COGNITION

 Reducing prejudice and discrimination


Until the 1950s schools in America had been schools for black children or schools
for white children. The two races did not mix.
In 1954 the law demanded an end to segregation.
It was hoped that this would improve relations between the two races and
prejudice would be on the decline.
Research showed that 53% showed that prejudice had increased and 34% found
no change at all (Stephan 1978).
Sherif et al. (1961) showed that boys at a summer camp showed increased hostility
when the two groups were brought together, even in non-competitive situations,
such as sitting together at mealtimes.
                                                                                    118
         SOCIAL COGNITION

 Reducing prejudice and discrimination


The idea of superordinate goals has also been discussed.
The theory here was that if different groups could share common goals, then
prejudice would be reduced – these goals are known as superordinate goals.
In Sherif’s experiment in the boys’ summer camp, when the boys had to face a
common problem ( the breaking down of their truck) that needed them to ‘pull
together’ to get out of a situation, hostility was markedly reduced and even signs
of friendship were in evidence.
This type of behaviour is often evident in the face of natural disasters, such as
earthquakes. Religious intolerance or racial disputes are laid aside while rescue
work is undertaken.
                                                                                     119
   SOCIAL COGNITION                           Reducing prejudice and discrimination




Equal status is also likely to reduce discrimination and prejudice.
                                                                                      120
     SOCIAL COGNITION                   If contact between people is
                                        always on an unequal footing,
Reducing prejudice and discrimination   such as it was before the
                                        abolition of Apartheid in
                                        South Africa, daily contact
                                        must have only led to a
                                        reinforcement of negative
                                        feelings, as black people had
                                        poorly paid jobs, poor living
                                        conditions and low status.
                                        It was not a situation where
                                        the likelihood of getting rid
                                        of prejudice was imminent.



                                                                        121
         SOCIAL COGNITION

 Reducing prejudice and discrimination

Generalisation is another barrier to
breaking down prejudice and
discrimination.
Individual members of two groups can
interact well and prejudice that might
normally exist is reduced or even
eradicated.
This is because the individual is seen as
an individual and not as part of a group.


                                            122
         SOCIAL COGNITION

 Reducing prejudice and discrimination



Milton carried out research in 1972 amongst police officers in America who
happened to have female partners.
The male officers were all very satisfied with the ability of their female partners
but still maintained their opinions that no more women should be employed.
They all saw their partner as an exception to the rule.
Generalisation will only help reduce prejudice if this positive reaction can be
spread to the wider society.


                                                                                      123
         SOCIAL COGNITION

 Reducing prejudice and discrimination




People can only hope to break down barriers if they begin to know each other
rather than stand at a distance viewing a group.
They must have personal contact – acquaintance potential – so that people can
get to know each other on a one-to-one basis.
This should promote positive attitudes.



                                                                                124
         SOCIAL COGNITION

 Reducing prejudice and discrimination


Society needs to support the reduction of prejudice.
The norms of our society have to make it unacceptable or even illegal.
Employers who create an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding will have a
greater chance of less prejudice amongst their workforce.
Employees will change their behaviour to fit in with the norm.
By passing laws to prevent anti-prejudice behaviour the government is also helping
to bring about the reduction in prejudice.



                                                                                     125
       SOCIAL COGNITION

Reducing prejudice and discrimination




 Common in-group identity can help to reduce
 prejudice.
 If you can convince people that they belong to a
 larger group, even if differences between them
 still exist, they are generally more tolerant of the
 whole group.



                                                        126
          SOCIAL COGNITION

  Reducing prejudice and discrimination



In war or natural disasters,
groups are more willing to
work together as they have a
common interest.
Humanity, rather than
nationalities or religions, can be
more important for people in
disasters.


                                          127
       SOCIAL COGNITION

Reducing prejudice and discrimination


  Jigsaw classrooms were introduced into American schools in the 1970s.
  Students were asked to work in groups of mixed ethnic compositions, reflecting
  the ethnic groups represented throughout the school.
  A social psychologist, Elliott Aronson, devised the system.
  Pupils were divided into groups and each member of the group was essential for
  producing some information for the rest of the group.




                                                                                   128
       SOCIAL COGNITION

Reducing prejudice and discrimination


    The term jigsaw came from this because if one piece of information was missing
    the rest of the group could not complete their project.
    As a result, students were cooperating and not competing, since they needed each
    other’s assistance to reach their goal.
    Overall, Aronson saw a significant reduction in prejudice. Students also increased
    their self-esteem.
    Jigsaw classrooms became very popular after segregation was abolished in America
    and were used by many schools to overcome the tension that had been created by
    total integration.
                                                                                         129
        SOCIAL COGNITION

 Reducing prejudice and discrimination


By recategorising and decategorising
groups a reduction in prejudice can
come about.
Minority groups have also throughout
history managed to bring about a
reduction in prejudice and
discrimination.
The Civil Rights Movement in America
in the 1950s and 1960s brought this
about vividly.
                                         130
          SOCIAL COGNITION

   Conclusions                    We have to consider also that children need to be
                                  educated with ideas that tolerance and acceptance
                                  of other people whom they see as ‘different’ have
We have looked at examples of     to be part of our society if we are going to create a
prejudice and discrimination in   harmonious society.
this unit.
                                  Education is a key to reducing discrimination and
                                  prejudice. Education has also been found to be
                                  most effective on young people, as Aronson found.
                                  Policies and laws can also reduce prejudice.




                                                                                          131
           SOCIAL COGNITION

    Conclusions                      The media also has a role to play. If it continues to
                                     portray stereotypes, people will read and listen to
                                     these stereotypes and believe them to be the truth.
Equal opportunities legislation is
vital too.                           By encouraging the ‘one nation’ or even ‘one
                                     world’ in-group perception, we stand a better
                                     chance of ensuring that people adopt a perception
                                     that we all belong to a group rather than the idea
                                     that there are many competing groups.




                                                                                             132
      SOCIAL COGNITION

Conclusions



 Political policies and laws that
 are introduced to reduce
 prejudice and discrimination
 must be applied rigorously.




                                    133
      SOCIAL COGNITION

Conclusions              Economic and political unrest can also lead to
                         discrimination so politicians have an important role
                         to play here too.
                         We all need to support any action that will reduce
                         discrimination or prejudice in any form.
                         Attempts may not always be successful and we may
                         never totally eradicate prejudice.
                         Cooperation in our society and a reduction in
                         prejudice is certainly an aim for all human beings.




                                                                               134

				
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