Social Psychology - Napa Valley College

Social Psychology - Napa Valley College

6th edition Social Psychology Elliot Aronson University of California, Santa Cruz Timothy D. Wilson University of Virginia Robin M. Akert Wellesley College slides by Travis Langley Henderson State University

Chapter 13 Prejudice: Causes and Cures Source of image: www.clipart.com Prejudice: The Ubiquitous Social Phenomenon Prejudice is ubiquitous: In one form or another, it affects us all. For one thing, prejudice is a two-way street; it often flows from the

minority group to the majority group as well as in the other direction. And any group can be a target of prejudice. Prejudice: The Ubiquitous Social Phenomenon Many aspects of your identity can cause you to be labeled and discriminated against:

nationality racial and ethnic identity gender sexual orientation religion appearance

physical state weight disabilities diseases hair color professions hobbies Prejudice: The Ubiquitous Social Phenomenon Many aspects of your identity can cause you to be labeled and

discriminated against. Consider the stereotypes of the ditzy blonde, dumb jock, or computer nerd. Some people have negative attitudes about bluecollar workers; others, about Fortune 500 CEOs. The point is that none of us emerges completely unscathed by prejudice; it is a problem common to all humankind. Prejudice: The Ubiquitous Social Phenomenon In addition to being widespread, prejudice is dangerous. Simple dislike of a group can be relentless and can escalate to extreme hatred, to thinking of its

members as less than human, and to torture, murder, and even genocide. Even when murder or genocide is not the culmination of prejudiced beliefs, the targets of prejudice will suffer in less dramatic ways. One frequent consequence of being the target of relentless prejudice is a diminution of ones selfesteem. Prejudice and Self-Esteem Seeds of low self-esteem are sown early. Clark and Clark (1947) demonstrated that African American children as young as 3 already thought it was not

particularly be black. Children weredesirable offered ato choice between playing with a white doll and playing with a black doll. The great majority of them rejected the black doll, feeling that the white doll was prettier and generally superior. Taking this evidence into consideration, the Supreme Court ruled that separating black children from white children on the basis of race alone generates a feeling of inferiority."

Source of image: Microsoft Office Online. Prejudice and Self-Esteem Goldberg (1968) women in this culture had learned to consider themselves intellectually inferior to men. In his experiment, Goldberg asked female college students to read scholarly articles and to evaluate them in terms of their competence and writing style. For some students, specific articles were signed by male authors (e.g., John T. McKay), while for others, the same articles were signed by female authors (e.g., Joan T. McKay).

The female students rated the articles much higher if they were attributed to a male author than if the same articles were attributed to a female author. A Progress Report Significant changes have happened since those studies: The number of blatant acts of overt prejudice and discrimination has decreased sharply. Affirmative action opened the door to greater opportunities for women and minorities. The media have increased our exposure to women and minorities doing important work in positions of power and influence.

A Progress Report These changes are reflected in the gradual increase in self-esteem of people in these groups. Most recent research has failed to replicate the results of those earlier experiments. 1. African American children have gradually become more content with black dolls than they were in the late 1930s. 2. People no longer discriminate against a piece of writing simply because it is attributed to a woman.

Source of image: Microsoft Office Online. A Progress Report While this progress is real, it would be a mistake to conclude that prejudice has ceased to be a serious problem in the United States. Prejudice exists in countless subtle and not-so-subtle ways. For the most part, in America, prejudice has gone underground and become less overt. Prejudice Defined

Prejudice is an attitude. Attitudes are made up of three components: affective or emotional component, representing both the type of emotion linked with the attitude (e.g., anger, warmth) and the extremity of the attitude (e.g., mild uneasiness, outright hostility), cognitive component, involving the beliefs or thoughts (cognitions) that make up the attitude, behavioral component, relating to ones actionspeople dont simply hold attitudes; they usually act on them as well.

Prejudice Defined Prejudice refers to the general attitude structure and its affective (emotional) component. While prejudice can involve either positive or negative affect, social psychologists (and people in general) use the word prejudice primarily when referring to negative attitudes about others. Prejudice Defined Prejudice refers to the general attitude structure and its affective

(emotional) component. While prejudice can involve either Prejudice negative affect, social A positive hostile oror negative attitude toward psychologists (and people

in general) people in a distinguishable group, based use the prejudice primarily solely on word their membership in that group. when referring to negative attitudes about others. Source of image: www.clipart.com

Stereotypes: The Cognitive Component The distinguished journalist Walter Lippmann (1922), who was the first to introduce the term stereotype, described the distinction between the world out there and stereotypes the little pictures we carry around inside our heads. Within a given culture, these pictures tend to be remarkably similar. Stereotypes:

The Cognitive Component Stereotype A generalization about a group of people in which identical characteristics are assigned to virtually all members of the group, regardless of actual variation among the members. Once formed, stereotypes are resistant to change on the basis of new information. Source of image: www.clipart.com Stereotypes: The Cognitive Component Stereotyping is a cognitive process,

not an emotional one. Stereotyping does not necessarily lead to intentional acts of abuse. Often stereotyping is merely a technique we use to simplify how we look at the worldand we all do it to some extent. SPORTS, RACE, AND ATTRIBUTION POTENTIAL ABUSE OF STEREOTYPINGS MENTAL SHORTCUTS CAN BE BLATANT AND OBVIOUSAS WHEN ONE ETHNIC GROUP IS CONSIDERED LAZY OR ANOTHER ETHNIC GROUP IS CONSIDERED

GREEDY. THE POTENTIAL ABUSE CAN BE MORE SUBTLEAND IT MIGHT EVEN INVOLVE A STEREOTYPE ABOUT A POSITIVE ATTRIBUTE. SPORTS, RACE, AND ATTRIBUTION So what here is abusive to the minority? Whats wrong with the implication that black men can jump? The

abuse enters when we ignore the overlap in the distributionslike when we ignore the fact that plenty of African American kids are not adept at basketball and a plenty of white kids are. Source of image: Microsoft Office Online. SPORTS, RACE, AND ATTRIBUTION So what here is abusive to the minority? Whats wrong with the implication that black men can

jump? The abuse enters when we ignore the Thus if we meet a young African overlap in man the distributionslike when American and are astonished at we

ignore the fact that plenty of African his ineptitude on the basketball court, American arereal not sense, adept at we are, in kids a very

denying basketball and a plenty of white kids are. him his individuality. Source of image: Microsoft Office Online. STEREOTYPES, ATTRIBUTION, AND GENDER 1. Compared to men, women do tend to manifest behaviors that can best be described as more socially sensitive, friendlier, and more concerned with the welfare of others, while men tend to behave in ways that are more dominant, controlling, and independent. 2. Some data indicate that the stereotype tends

to underestimate the actual gender differences. 3. While overlap exists between men and women on these characteristics, the differences are too consistent to be dismissed as unimportant. STEREOTYPES, ATTRIBUTION, AND GENDER Needless to say, the phenomenon of gender stereotyping often does not reflect reality and can cut deeply. When a man is successful on a given task, observers of both sexes attribute his success to ability.

If a woman is successful at that same task, observers attribute her success to hard work. Source of image: Microsoft Office Online. STEREOTYPES, ATTRIBUTION, AND GENDER Even as children, girls have a tendency to downplay their own ability. While 4th-grade boys attribute their own successful outcomes on a difficult intellectual task to their ability, girls tend to derogate their own successful performance. While boys learn to protect their egos by

attributing their own failures to bad luck, girls take more blame for failures. Source of image: Microsoft Office Online. STEREOTYPES, ATTRIBUTION, AND GENDER These beliefs can be influenced by the attitudes of our society in general and parents. Mothers who hold the strongest genderstereotypical beliefs also believe their own daughters have relatively low math ability and that their sons have relatively high math ability. Mothers who don't hold stereotypical beliefs do not see their daughters as less

able in math than their sons. Discrimination: The Behavioral Component Discrimination An unjustified negative or harmful action toward the members of a group simply because of their membership in that group. DISCRIMINATION AGAINST HOMOSEXUALS SEVERAL STUDIES DURING THE PAST TWO DECADES HAVE SHOWN THAT HOMOSEXUALS FACE A GOOD DEAL OF

DISCRIMINATION AND ANTIPATHY IN THEIR DAY-TO-DAY LIVES. Unlike women, ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities, homosexuals are not protected by national laws banning discrimination in the workplace. Only 11 states have such laws. DISCRIMINATION AGAINST HOMOSEXUALS Researchers have found that compared to the way they interacted with nonhomosexuals, employers interacting with job applicants they have been led to think are homosexual:

were less verbally positive spent less time interviewing them used fewer words while chatting with them made less eye contact with them What Causes Prejudice? The Way We Think:

Social Cognition Our first explanation for what causes prejudice is that it is the inevitable byproduct of the way we process and organize information. Our tendency to categorize and group information, to form schemas and use them to interpret new or unusual information, to rely on potentially inaccurate heuristics (shortcuts in mental reasoning), and to depend on what are often faulty memory processesall of these aspects of social cognition can lead us to form negative stereotypes and to apply them in a discriminatory way.

SOCIAL CATEGORIZATION: US VERSUS THEM THE FIRST STEP IN PREJUDICE IS THE CREATION OF GROUPSPUTTING SOME PEOPLE INTO ONE GROUP BASED ON CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS AND OTHERS INTO ANOTHER GROUP BASED ON THEIR DIFFERENT CHARACTERISTICS. THIS KIND OF CATEGORIZATION IS THE UNDERLYING THEME OF HUMAN SOCIAL COGNITION. THUS SOCIAL CATEGORIZATION IS BOTH USEFUL AND NECESSARY; HOWEVER, THIS SIMPLE COGNITIVE PROCESS HAS PROFOUND

IMPLICATIONS. SOCIAL CATEGORIZATION: US VERSUS THEM For example, in Jane Elliots third-grade classroom, children grouped according to eye color began to act differently based on that social categorization. Blue-eyed children, the superior group, stuck together and actively promoted and used their higher status and power in the classroom. They formed an in-group, defined as the group with which an individual identifies. The blue-eyed kids saw the brown-eyed ones as outsidersdifferent and inferior.

To the blue-eyed children, the brown-eyed kids were the out-group, the group with which the individual does not identify. Source of image: Microsoft Office Online. IN-GROUP BIAS In-Group Bias Positive feelings and special treatment for people we have defined as being part of our in-group and negative feelings and unfair treatment for others simply because we have defined them as being in the out-group.

IN-GROUP BIAS The major underlying motive is selfesteem: Individuals seek to enhance their self-esteem by identifying with specific social groups. Self-esteem will be enhanced only if the individual sees these groups as superior to other groups. IN-GROUP BIAS To get at the pure, unvarnished mechanisms behind this phenomenon, researchers have created entities that they refer to as minimal groups.

In these experiments, complete strangers are formed into groups using the most trivial criteria imaginable. For example, in one experiment, participants watched a coin toss that randomly assigned them to either group X or group W. IN-GROUP BIAS The striking thing about this research is that despite the fact that the participants were strangers before the experiment and didnt interact during it, they behaved as if those who shared the same meaningless label were their

dear friends or close kin. They liked the members of their own group better. They rated the members of their in-group as more likely to have pleasant personalities and to have done better work than out-group members. Most striking, participants allocated more rewards to those who shared their label. OUT-GROUP HOMOGENEITY OUT-GROUP HOMOGENEITY THE BELIEF THAT THEY ARE ALL ALIKE.

IN-GROUP MEMBERS TEND TO PERCEIVE THOSE IN THE OUT-GROUP AS MORE SIMILAR TO EACH OTHER (HOMOGENEOUS) THAN THEY REALLY ARE, AS WELL AS MORE HOMOGENEOUS THAN THE IN-GROUP MEMBERS ARE. If you know something about one outgroup member, you are more likely to feel you know something about all of them. THE FAILURE OF LOGIC EVEN PEOPLE WHO ARE USUALLY SENSIBLE BECOME RELATIVELY IMMUNE TO

RATIONAL, LOGICAL ARGUMENTS WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR PREJUDICE. WHY IS THIS SO? 1. It is primarily the emotional aspect of attitudes that makes a prejudiced person so hard to agree with. LOGICAL ARGUMENTS ARE NOT EFFECTIVE IN COUNTERING EMOTIONS. THE FAILURE OF LOGIC EVEN PEOPLE WHO ARE USUALLY SENSIBLE BECOME RELATIVELY IMMUNE TO RATIONAL, LOGICAL ARGUMENTS WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR PREJUDICE.

WHY IS THIS SO? 2. As discussed in earlier chapters, an attitude tends to organize the way we process relevant information about the targets of that attitude. THE FAILURE OF LOGIC Specifically, information consistent with their notions about these target groups will be: Given more attention Rehearsed (or recalled) more often, and Therefore remembered better than

information that contradicts these notions. THE PERSISTENCE OF STEREOTYPES STEREOTYPES REFLECT CULTURAL BELIEFS. EVEN IF WE DONT BELIEVE THESE STEREOTYPES, WE CAN EASILY RECOGNIZE THEM AS COMMON BELIEFS HELD BY OTHERS. THE ACTIVATION OF STEREOTYPES Automatic and Controlled

Processing of Stereotypes An automatic process is one over which we have no control. Stereotypes are automatically triggered under certain conditionsthey just pop into ones mind. Since the process is automatic, you cant control it or stop it from occurring. However, for people who are not deeply prejudiced, their control processes can suppress or override these stereotypes. The Justification-Suppression Model of Prejudice

According to Crandall and Eschlemans (2003) model, most people struggle between their urge to express prejudice and need to maintain positive self-concept (as a non-bigot). However, it requires energy to suppress prejudiced impulses. Because people are programmed to avoid the constant expenditure of energy, we seek information that can convince us there is a valid justification for holding a negative attitude toward a particular out-group. Once we find a valid justification for disliking this group, we can act against them and still feel as though we are not bigotsthus avoiding cognitive

dissonance. THE ILLUSORY CORRELATION Illusory Correlation When we expect two things to be related, we fool ourselves into believing that they are actually unrelated. CAN WE CHANGE STEREOTYPICAL BELIEFS? Researchers have found that when people are presented with an example or two that seems to refute their existing stereotype, most do not change their general belief.

Indeed, in one experiment, some people presented with disconfirming evidence actually strengthened stereotypical belief because the disconfirming evidence challenged them to come up with additional reasons for holding on to that belief. How We Assign Meaning: Attributional Biases DISPOSITIONAL VERSUS SITUATIONAL EXPLANATIONS ONE REASON STEREOTYPES ARE SO INSIDIOUS AND PERSISTENT IS THE

HUMAN TENDENCY TO MAKE DISPOSITIONAL ATTRIBUTIONS. RELYING TOO HEAVILY ON DISPOSITIONAL ATTRIBUTIONS OFTEN LEADS US TO MAKE ATTRIBUTIONAL MISTAKES. DISPOSITIONAL VERSUS SITUATIONAL EXPLANATIONS Ultimate Attribution Error Our tendency to make dispositional attributions about an individuals negative behavior to an entire group of

people. Source of image: www.clipart.com DISPOSITIONAL VERSUS SITUATIONAL EXPLANATIONS Researchers had college students read fictionalized files on prisoners to make a parole decision. Sometimes the crime matched the common stereotype of the offenderfor example, when a Hispanic male, committed assault and battery, or when an upper-class Anglo-American committed embezzlement. When prisoners crimes were consistent with participants stereotypes, the students

recommendations for parole were harsher. Most students ignored additional information that was relevant to a parole decision but inconsistent with the stereotype, such as evidence of good behavior in prison. Stereotype Threat When African American students find themselves in highly evaluative educational situations, most tend to experience apprehension about confirming the existing

negative cultural stereotype of intellectual inferiority. Source of image: www.clipart.com Stereotype Threat Stone and his colleagues (1999) found that when a game of miniature golf was framed as a measure of sport strategic intelligence black athletes performed worse at it than whites. But when the game was framed as a measure of natural athletic

ability the pattern reversed, and the Black athletes outperformed the Whites. Source of image: www.clipart.com Stereotype Threat The common stereotype has it that men are better at math than women are. When women in one experiment were led to believe that a particular test was designed to show differences in math abilities between men and women, they did not perform as well as men. In another condition, when women were told

that the same test had nothing to do with malefemale differences, they performed as well as men. The phenomenon even shows itself among white males if you put them in a similarly threatening situation. Stereotype Threat How can the effects of stereotype threat be reversed? An understanding of stereotype threat can be very useful for improving performance on tests and other. Merely reminding participants they were selective northeastern liberal arts college students eliminated the

gender gap on a spatial ability test. EXPECTATIONS AND DISTORTIONS WHEN A MEMBER OF AN OUT-GROUP BEHAVES AS WE EXPECT, IT CONFIRMS AND EVEN STRENGTHENS OUR STEREOTYPE. AND WHEN AN OUT-GROUP MEMBER BEHAVES IN AN UNEXPECTED, NONSTEREOTYPICAL FASHION? ATTRIBUTION THEORY PROVIDES THE ANSWER: WE CAN SIMPLY ENGAGE IN SOME ATTRIBUTIONAL FANCY FOOTWORK AND EMERGE WITH OUR DISPOSITIONAL STEREOTYPE INTACT. PRINCIPALLY, WE CAN MAKE SITUATIONAL ATTRIBUTIONS ABOUT THE EXCEPTIONFOR

EXAMPLE, THAT THE PERSON REALLY IS AS WE BELIEVE, BUT IT JUST ISNT APPARENT IN THIS SITUATION. BLAMING THE VICTIM WHEN EMPATHY IS ABSENT, IT IS SOMETIMES HARD TO AVOID FALLING INTO THE TRAP OF BLAMING THE VICTIM FOR HIS OR HER PLIGHT. Source of image: www.clipart.com BLAMING THE VICTIM

Ironically, this Ironically, this tendency tendency WHEN EMPATHY IS ABSENT, IT IS to blame victims for to blame

victims for TO AVOID SOMETIMES HARD their their victimization victimization is is FALLING INTO THE TRAP OF typically motivated by

typically motivated by BLAMING THE VICTIM FOR HIS an an understandable understandable desire to see OR HER desire to PLIGHT. see the

the world world as as aa fair fair and and just just place, place, one one where where people people get get what

what they they deserve deserve and and deserve deserve what what they they get. get. SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECIES On a societal level, the insidiousness of the self-fulfilling prophecy goes far. Suppose that there is a general belief that

a particular group is irredeemably stupid, uneducable, and fit only for menial jobs. Why waste educational resources on them? Hence they are given inadequate schooling. Thirty years later, what do you find? An entire group that with few exceptions is fit only for menial jobs. Prejudice and Economic Competition: Realistic Conflict Theory Realistic conflict theory holds that limited resources lead to conflict among groups and result in

prejudice and discrimination. Thus prejudiced attitudes tend to increase when times are tense and conflict exists over mutually exclusive goals. Source of image: www.clipart.com ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL COMPETITION When times are tough and resources are scarce: 1. In-group members will feel more threatened by the out-group. 2. Incidents of prejudice,

discrimination, and violence toward out-group members will increase. THE ROLE OF THE SCAPEGOAT Research on scapegoating shows that individuals, when frustrated or unhappy, tend to displace aggression onto groups that are disliked, are visible, and are relatively powerless. The

form the aggression takes depends on what is allowed or approved by the in-group in question. Source of image: Microsoft Office Online. The Way We Conform: Normative Rules WHEN PREJUDICE IS INSTITUTIONALIZED SIMPLY BY LIVING IN A SOCIETY WHERE STEREOTYPICAL INFORMATION ABOUNDS AND WHERE DISCRIMINATORY BEHAVIOR

IS THE NORM, THE VAST MAJORITY OF US WILL UNWITTINGLY DEVELOP PREJUDICED ATTITUDES AND DISCRIMINATORY BEHAVIOR TO SOME EXTENT. WE CALL THIS INSTITUTIONAL DISCRIMINATION OR, MORE SPECIFICALLY, AS INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM AND INSTITUTIONALIZED SEXISM. WHEN PREJUDICE IS INSTITUTIONALIZED Normative Normative Conformity Conformity The

The strong strong tendency tendency to to go go along along with with the the group group in in order order to to fulfill fulfill the

the groups groups expectations expectations and and gain gain acceptance. acceptance. MODERN PREJUDICE AS THE NORM SWINGS TOWARD TOLERANCE, MANY PEOPLE SIMPLY BECOME MORE CAREFUL

OUTWARDLY ACTING UNPREJUDICED YET INWARDLY MAINTAINING STEREOTYPED VIEWS. PEOPLE HAVE LEARNED TO HIDE PREJUDICE IN ORDER TO AVOID BEING LABELED AS RACIST, BUT WHEN THE SITUATION BECOMES SAFE, THEIR PREJUDICE WILL BE REVEALED. Source of image: www.clipart.com SUBTLE AND BLATANT PREJUDICE ELSEWHERE EXAMPLES OF BLATANT PREJUDICE

ABOUND IN DAILY NEWSPAPER HEADLINES: ETHNIC CLEANSING IN BOSNIA VIOLENT CONFLICT BETWEEN ARABS AND JEWS IN THE MIDDLE EAST MASS MURDER BETWEEN WARRING TRIBES IN RWANDA THIS PREJUDICE EXISTS IN MODERN FORMS AS WELL. Subtle Sexism Hostile sexists hold stereotypical views of women that suggest that women are inferior to men (e.g.,

that they are less intelligent, less competent, and so on). Benevolent sexists hold stereotypically positive views of women. How Can Prejudice Be Reduced? The Contact Hypothesis Mere contact between groups is not sufficient to reduce prejudice. In fact, it can create opportunities for conflict that may increase it.

Prejudice will decrease when two conditions are met: 1. Both groups are of equal status. 2. Both share a common goal. When Contact Reduces Prejudice: Six Conditions Sherif and colleagues (1961) found: Once hostility and distrust were established, simply removing a conflict and the competition did not restore harmony. In fact, bringing two competing groups together in neutral situations actually

increased their hostility and distrust. Mutual Mutual Interdependence Interdependence The The need need to to depend depend on on each each other other to to accomplish

accomplish aa goal goal that that is is important important to to each each group. group. When Contact Reduces Prejudice: Six Conditions 1. 2.

3. 4. 5. Mutual interdependence Common goal Equal status Friendly, informal setting Knowing multiple out-group members 6. Social norms of equality 6th edition

Social Psychology Elliot Aronson University of California, Santa Cruz Timothy D. Wilson University of Virginia Robin M. Akert Wellesley College slides by Travis Langley Henderson State University

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