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Prejudice Chapter Seven. Prejudice Feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and anger are the harvest of being the constant target of prejudice. Does.

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Presentation on theme: "Prejudice Chapter Seven. Prejudice Feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and anger are the harvest of being the constant target of prejudice. Does."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prejudice Chapter Seven

2 Prejudice Feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and anger are the harvest of being the constant target of prejudice. Does such prejudice still exist?

3 Prejudice Without question, significant changes have taken place in American society in the last few decades. There is no doubt that our society is a lot less prejudiced against women and minorities than it was forty or fifty years ago. Survey data indicate that the numbers of people willing to admit they hold prejudices have been dropping sharply.

4 Prejudice Yet, although hate crimes and other overt expressions of prejudice tend to be less frequent and flagrant, prejudice lingers in a number of forms, exacting a heavy toll on its victims. Example: LA firefighter

5 What is Prejudice? Aronson defines prejudice as a hostile or negative attitude toward a distinguishable group based on generalizations derived from faulty or incomplete information. It contains a cognitive component, an emotional component, and a behavioral component. The nature of prejudice leads us to generalize from individuals to the group as a whole.

6 What is Prejudice? It is reasonably safe to assume that all of us have some degree of prejudice, whether it is against an ethnic, national, or racial group, against people with different sexual orientations from our own, against specific areas of the country as places to live, or even against certain kinds of food.

7 What is Prejudice? It is easy to be smug about other people’s prejudices, especially if we don’t share them. It’s harder to see our own. Even scientists, who are trained to be objective and fair-minded, can be influenced by the prevailing prejudices of their times. Example: Aronson’s first edition of The Social Animal

8 What is Prejudice? In short, when we are reared in a prejudiced society, we often casually accept its prejudices. We don’t even look at scientific data critically if it supports our biased beliefs and stereotypes about some group.

9 What is Prejudice? Direct and Subtle Forms of Prejudice When most people think of acts of prejudice, they imagine overt behavior. Example: Ayers, et al. study of car sale negotiations

10 What is Prejudice? Direct and Subtle Forms of Prejudice Many otherwise decent people, despite their best efforts to be open-minded, are nonetheless capable of subtle acts of prejudice. Many investigators, like Pettigrew, et al., believe that indirect – and perhaps more insidious – forms of prejudice have largely replaced the blatant kinds of racial bigotry expressed in the past.

11 What is Prejudice? Direct and Subtle Forms of Prejudice Prejudice also has subtle, but important, effects on the behavior of the targets of prejudice as well. A majority of Americans believe that discrimination is no longer a barrier to life success for people of color, but research suggests otherwise.  Example: Pager  Example: Word, et al.  Example: Frey & Gartner  Findings suggest that subtle racism tends to emerge when it can be easily rationalized.

12 What is Prejudice? Direct and Subtle Forms of Prejudice Does this discrimination extend toward gay men and lesbian women? Example: Hebl, et al.  Investigators found no evidence of blatant discrimination.  It was clear, however, that the interviewers were more uncomfortable and standoffish with interviewees they believed were not straight.

13 What is Prejudice? Direct and Subtle Forms of Prejudice Does subtle prejudice extend toward women? Glick and Fiske have identified two specific kinds of prejudice affecting women:  Hostile sexism – which reflects an active dislike of women  Benevolent sexism – which appears favorable to women but actually is patronizing Both types of sexism serve to justify relegating women to traditional stereotyped roles in society.

14 What is Prejudice? Feeling vs. Expressing Prejudice Because most of us realize that prejudice is generally frowned upon, we take pains to avoid doing or saying things that would appear biased. But the effort to suppress what we really feel can be mentally taxing. Thus, when our cognitive resources are depleted, prejudice may leak out. We also may express our prejudices in small ways that we have little control over.

15 What is Prejudice? Feeling vs. Expressing Prejudice Crandall & Eshleman suggest that most people struggle with the conflict between their urge to express prejudice and their need to maintain a positive self-concept. We are thus attracted to information that justifies our prejudices. Once we find a valid justification for disliking a group, we can express prejudice without feeling like bigots – thus avoiding cognitive dissonance.

16 Stereotypes & Prejudice At the core of prejudice is the generalization of characteristics, motives, or behaviors to an entire group of people. This kind of generalization is called stereotyping. To stereotype is to allow the “little pictures in our heads” to dominate our thinking, leading us to assign identical characteristics to any person in a group, regardless of the actual variation among members of that group.

17 Stereotypes & Prejudice Stereotyping is not necessarily an intentional act of abuse; nor is it always negative. Often, it is merely a way we humans have of organizing and simplifying the complexities of our social world. We all do it!

18 Stereotypes & Prejudice Whether we consciously believe these stereotypes when we consider them, express them, or act upon them depends a good deal on our individual characteristics and the situations we are in. To the extent that the stereotype is based on experience and is at all accurate, it can be an adaptive, shorthand way of dealing with complex events.

19 Stereotypes & Prejudice On the other hand, if the stereotype blinds us to individual differences within a class of people, it is maladaptive and potentially dangerous. Stereotyping can be harmful to the target even if the stereotype seems to be neutral or even positive.

20 Stereotypes & Prejudice Stereotypic generalizations are abusive, if only because they rob the person of the right to be perceived and treated as an individual with his or her own individual traits, whether positive or negative.

21 Stereotypes & Prejudice Stereotypes distort the way we interpret people’s behavior. In turn, we may act on these distorted perceptions, treating the individual in a biased way. Example: Men shoving (Duncan)

22 Stereotypes & Prejudice One consequence of stereotyping is that when making judgments about people, we will often ignore or give insufficient weight to information that does not fit the stereotype. Example: Convicts coming up for parole (Bodenhausen & Wyer)

23 Stereotypes & Prejudice Most stereotypes are based not on valid experience, but rather on hearsay or images disseminated by the mass media or generated within our heads as ways of justifying our own prejudices and cruelty. Negative stereotypes can be comforting – they help us justify an unfair system in which some people are on the top and some are on the bottom.

24 Stereotypes & Prejudice Biased thinking of this sort can have harmful consequences in everyday life. Example: Bond, et al. study of patients in a psychiatric hospital Example: Correll, et al. study of police officers

25 Stereotypes & Prejudice Stereotypes and Attributions Stereotyping is a special form of attribution. Our need to find a cause for another person’s behavior is part of the human tendency to go beyond the information given. It is often functional.

26 Stereotypes & Prejudice Stereotypes and Attributions In an ambiguous situation, people tend to make attributions consistent with their prejudices. Pettigrew dubbed this the ultimate attribution error.

27 Stereotypes & Prejudice Stereotypes and Attributions Prejudice causes particular kinds of negative attributions or stereotypes that can, in turn, intensify the prejudice. Example: Swim & Sanna analysis  If a man was successful on a given task, observers tended to attribute his success to ability.  If a woman was successful on the same task, observers tended to attribute her success to hard work.  If a man failed on a given task, observers tended to attribute his failure either to bad luck or to lower effort.  If a woman failed, observers felt the task was simply too hard for her ability level. Example: Jacobs & Eccles study of mothers

28 Stereotypes & Prejudice Stereotypes and Attributions This phenomenon has some interesting ramifications – namely, the creation of debilitating self-attributions that affect future performance. Example: Male vs. female tennis players Example: Turner & Pratkanis study of affirmative action programs

29 Stereotypes & Prejudice Self-fulfilling Prophecies Our preconceptions about what other people are like often influence our behaviors in such a way as to elicit from them the very characteristics and behaviors we expected in the first place. “Belief creates reality” perpetuating a “reign of error.”

30 Stereotypes & Prejudice Self-fulfilling Prophecies Even if we don’t hold stereotypes, we often embrace social beliefs, only tentatively, and work to determine if they are accurate. Frequently, we use social interactions to test our hypotheses about what other people are like. Unfortunately, the strategies we use can produce confirming evidence, even when our hypotheses are incorrect. Example: Synder & Swann profile of “extrovert”

31 Stereotypes & Prejudice Self-fulfilling Prophecies One kind of self-fulfilling prophecy caused by the mere existence of stereotypes is that people who are targets of negative stereotypes can confirm those stereotypes – paradoxically – by trying to disconfirm them. Steele & J. Aronson identified “stereotype threat” as the apprehension felt by minority group members when trying to disconfirm a widely held belief about their group.

32 Stereotypes & Prejudice Self-fulfilling Prophecies Steele and Aronson argue that any group stereotypes as inferior to some other group can experience stereotype threat to a meaningful degree. This can happen to a group even if, by all objective standards, that group excels in the relevant domain.  Example: J. Aronson, et al.

33 Stereotypes & Prejudice Self-fulfilling Prophecies What happens when we belong to more than one stereotyped group? Each “social identity” can have different implications for behavior or performance – or the way one feels about oneself – depending on which identity is made salient by the situation.  Example: Shih, et al.

34 Stereotypes & Prejudice Self-fulfilling Prophecies Alternatively, if merely thinking about a negative stereotype can lower your performance on a test, then some kind of alternative mindset that counters the stereotype should be able to boost it. Example: McGlone & J. Aronson

35 Stereotypes & Prejudice Self-fulfilling Prophecies It is not always easy for people who have never experienced prejudice to understand fully what it is like to be a target. Empathy does not come easy and there is a tendency to lay blame on the victim.  This may take the form of the “well-deserved reputation.”

36 Stereotypes & Prejudice Self-fulfilling Prophecies Ironically, this tendency to blame victims for their victimization, attributing their predicaments to their own personalities and disabilities, is often motivated by a desire to see the world as a just place. Example: Lerner, et al.  People tend to assign personal responsibility for any inequitable outcome that is otherwise difficult to explain.

37 Stereotypes & Prejudice Self-fulfilling Prophecies Further understanding of blaming the victim comes from Fischhoff’s work on the hindsight bias. After we know the outcome of an event, the complex circumstance surrounding its occurrence suddenly appears crystal clear; it seems as if we knew it all along and could have predicted it.  Example: Janoff-Bulman, et al. study of rape victims

38 Causes of Prejudice Although we humans may have inherited biological tendencies that predispose us toward prejudicial behavior, no one knows for sure whether or not prejudice is a vital and necessary part of our biological makeup. Most social psychologists would agree that the specifics of prejudice must be learned, either through imitating the attitudes and behavior of others or through the ways in which we construct our own psychological reality.

39 Causes of Prejudice Economic and Political Competition Given that resources are limited, the dominant group might attempt to exploit or derogate a minority group in order to gain some material advantage. Prejudiced attitudes tend to increase when times are tense and there is conflict over mutually exclusive goals. Example: Union membership; US Department of Labor statistics

40 Causes of Prejudice Economic and Political Competition Discrimination, prejudice, and negative stereotyping increase sharply as competition for scarce jobs increases. Example: Dollard classic study of German immigrants Example: Chinese immigrants in 19 th century US Example: Sherif, et al. experimental study at Boy Scout camp

41 Causes of Prejudice Displaced Aggression: The Scapegoat Theory In modern times, the term scapegoating has been used to describe the process of blaming a relatively powerless innocent person for something that is not his or her fault. Example: Klineburg description of the burakumin in Japan Example: Jews in Nazi Germany Example: Miller & Bugelski experiment

42 Causes of Prejudice Displaced Aggression: The Scapegoat Theory Laboratory experiments help to clarify factors that seem to exist in the real world. The general picture of scapegoating that emerges is that individuals tend to displace aggression onto groups that are disliked, that are visible, and that are relatively powerless. Moreover, the form the aggression takes depends on what is allowed or approved by the in-group.

43 Causes of Prejudice Maintenance of Self-Image and Status A powerful determinant of prejudice is embedded in our need to justify our behavior and sense of self. Several studies indicate that a good predictor of prejudice is whether or not a person’s social status is low or declining. Example: Crocker, et al. study of sorority women Example: Fein & Spencer study of anti- Semitic students

44 Causes of Prejudice The Prejudiced Personality There is some evidence to support the notion of individual differences in a general tendency to hate. In other words, some people are predisposed toward being prejudiced not solely because of immediate external influences, but also because of the kind of people they are. Adorno, et al. referred to these individuals as authoritarian personalities.

45 Causes of Prejudice The Prejudiced Personality Individuals with authoritarian personalities tend to be rigid in their beliefs; they tend to possess conventional values; they are intolerant of weakness in themselves and others; they tend to be highly punitive; they are suspicious; and they are respectful of authority to unusual degrees. The instrument developed to determine authoritarianism is called the F scale.

46 Causes of Prejudice The Prejudiced Personality The major finding is that people who are high on authoritarianism show a consistently high degree of prejudice against all minority groups. Adorno, et al. traced the development of this cluster of attitudes and values to early childhood experiences in families characterized by harsh, threatening parental discipline.

47 Causes of Prejudice The Prejudiced Personality Although research on the authoritarian personality (e.g., McFarland, et al.) has added to our understanding of the possible dynamics of prejudice, one problem is that the bulk of the data are correlational.

48 Causes of Prejudice Prejudice through Conformity Many people simply learn a wide array of prejudices by conforming to the lessons they learned on Mommy’s or Daddy’s knee. Others may conform to prejudices that are limited and highly specific, depending upon the norms of their subculture.  Example: Prejudice against blacks in the South vs. the North (Pettigrew)

49 Causes of Prejudice Prejudice through Conformity Pettigrew argues that although economic competition, frustration, and personality needs account for some prejudice, prejudiced behavior is mostly driven by slavish conformity to social norms. Example: Study of interracial tension in South Africa Example: Watson study of anti-Semitic people Example: Pettigrew study of Southerners

50 Causes of Prejudice Prejudice through Conformity The pressure to conform can be overt (e.g., Asch’s study) or conformity to a prejudicial norm might simply be due to the unavailability of accurate evidence and a preponderance of misleading information. Example: Marlowe & Shakespeare’s literature

51 Causes of Prejudice Prejudice through Conformity Even casual exposure to bigotry can affect our attitudes and behavior toward a group that is the victim of prejudice. Example: Kirkland, et al. study of criminal trial transcript  One finding: Conformity to the prejudiced norms can have damaging effects that even extend beyond the initial target of racism.

52 Causes of Prejudice Prejudice through Conformity Bigoted attitudes can also be fostered intentionally by a society that institutionally supports these attitudes. Example: Apartheid in South Africa Example: Historical treatment of blacks, women, & Jews in the US

53 Reducing Prejudice For most people, prejudice is too deeply rooted in their own belief systems, is too consistent with their day-to-day behavior, and receives too much support and encouragement from the people around them to be reduced by a book, a film, or a radio broadcast.

54 Reducing Prejudice Although changes in attitude might induce changes in behavior, it is often difficult to change attitudes through education. It is changes in behavior that can affect changes in attitudes. Research examined the importance of equal- status contact between groups. Example: Deutsch & Collins study of whites and blacks in public housing projects One conclusion: Stateways CAN change folkways.

55 Reducing Prejudice Social psychologists also examined the impact of desegregation on the values of people who do not even have the opportunity to have direct contact with minority groups. Example: Aronson argument about the psychology of inevitability Example: Pettigrew, Clark examinations of desegregation violence

56 Reducing Prejudice It is important to recognize that much of what Aronson presents is an admittedly oversimplified view of a very complex phenomenon. Real-world conditions are very different from theoretical conditions and affect the outcome of the situation very differently. Example: Stephan study of self-esteem in black children following desegregation

57 Reducing Prejudice In sum: Equal-status contact under the ideal conditions of no economic conflict can and does produce increased understanding and a diminution of prejudice. The psychology of inevitability can and does set up pressures to reduce prejudiced attitudes and can set the stage for smooth, nonviolent school desegregation under ideal conditions.

58 Reducing Prejudice In sum (continued): Where economic conflict is present, as in integrated neighborhoods of private homes, there is often an increase in prejudiced attitudes. Where school desegregation results in a competitive situation, especially if there are serious inequities for the minority groups, there is often an increase in hostility of Blacks or Latinos toward Whites that is at least partially due to an attempt to regain some lost self-esteem.

59 Interdependence: A Possible Solution Situations of mutual interdependence, those which require cooperation between groups in order to accomplish a goal, have been shown to be effective in reducing hostile feelings and negative stereotyping. Example: Sherif, et al. study of the Boy Scout camp Example: Deutsch study of problem-solving Example: Keenan & Carnevale study of cooperation

60 Interdependence: A Possible Solution Unfortunately, cooperation and interdependence are not characteristic of the process that exists in most American classrooms, even at the elementary level. One widely effective alternative to the intense competition in most classrooms is the jigsaw classroom (Aronson, et al.).

61 Interdependence: A Possible Solution Why does the jigsaw method produce positive results? One reason is that this cooperative strategy places people in a favor-doing situation. Example: Leippe & Eisenstadt Another mechanism appears to be cognitive, in that the process of cooperation changes our tendency to categorize the out-group from “those people” to “us people.” Example: Gaertner, et al.

62 Interdependence: A Possible Solution Why does the jigsaw method produce positive results? A mediating process is empathy – the ability to experience what your group member is experiencing. Example: Bridgeman study of 10-year-old children  When we develop the ability to understand what another person is going through, it increases the probability that our heart will open to that person.  Once our heart is open, it becomes virtually impossible to feel prejudice against that person.

63 Interdependence: A Possible Solution Diversity in a nation, in a city, in a neighborhood, or in a school can be an exciting thing – or a source of turmoil. It is vital for us to learn to relate to one another across racial and ethnic lines in as harmonious a way as possible.

64 By May 1st You should have read chapter seven by this time. Now that you have completed these power points, please go to the Social Animal website. ult.asp Log in and take the quiz for chapter seven, submit answers to my .


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