Components of Group Antagonism Stereotypes (cognitive) Prejudice (affective) Discrimination (behavioral)
Stereotypes Beliefs about the personal attributes shared by people in a particular group or social category. May have a “grain of truth.” Usually contain much inaccuracy Over-generalized Overemphasize negative attributes Underestimate group variability
Stereotypes Knowing that one may be stereotyped by others can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Others’ behavior can influence the target. The mere expectation of being stereotyped can create stereotype threat.
Stereotypes Steele & Aronson (1995) Blacks and whites completed a test that was described as either “real” or as a lab exercise Only when the test was described as “real” did blacks perform worse. Illustrates impact of stereotype threat.
Prejudice The evaluation of a group or an individual based mainly on group membership Not necessarily negative: ethnocentrism is positive prejudice towards one’s in- group
Prejudice Prejudice affects public policy preferences prejudiced whites oppose affirmative action and bilingual education prejudiced straights favor restrictions on HIV-positive individuals.
Prejudice In the real world, prejudice and stereotyping tend to go together However, unprejudiced people do know the most common stereotypes even though they don’t believe them.
Discrimination Negative behaviors towards individuals based on their group membership. May be blatant or subtle; both can be damaging
Discrimination Discrimination disguised as something else leads to attributional ambiguity. Being able to blame outcomes on discrimination decreases the impact of negative evaluations
Discrimination Attributional Ambiguity: Crocker & Major (1989) White evaluator rated blacks. Evaluator could or could not see other. Blacks rated negatively by a white who could see them attributed rating to discrimination and suffered less damage to self-esteem.
Learning Prejudice According to social learning theory, we learn prejudice the same way we learn other attitudes and values Socialization The Media
Learning Prejudice Socialization is the process by which children learn the social norms of their surroundings. By age 4 or 5, most urban whites begin to show prejudices, and these prejudices further develop during grade school. By adolescence, prejudice is hard to change.
Learning Prejudice Media coverage reflects and reinforces stereotypes. E.g., Gilens (1999) found that the media presents an inaccurate picture of people on welfare, showing them as much more likely to be black and unemployed than is the case in reality.
Motives for Prejudice Psychodynamic Approaches Intergroup Competition
Motives: Psychodynamic Prejudice is viewed by some as displaced aggression onto a group that serves as a scapegoat.
Motives: Psychodynamic The authoritarian personality theory treats prejudice as a personality disorder A modern reinterpretation suggests that right-wing authoritarianism may stem from social learning rather than psychopathology
Motives: Intergroup Competition Realistic group conflict theory views prejudice as an inevitable consequence of conflict between groups for limited resources Relative deprivation is key Privileged groups have a sense of group position and work to protect their status
Motives: Intergroup Competition Dominant groups maintain their privileged position by two mechanisms On an interpersonal level, the dominant group acts paternalistic while the subordinate shows deference Dominant groups create legitimizing myths to explain why change is impossible
Motives: Intergroup Competition Ideological justifications for gender inequality create ambivalent sexism (Glick & Fiske, 2001) This mixes “benevolent sexism” with “hostile sexism”
Motives: Intergroup Competition Group interest, not self-interest, has the greater effect on prejudiced attitudes E.g., opposition to affirmative action by whites is not based on fears of personal job loss
Cognitive Bases of Prejudice Systematic cognitive biases occur because we need to simplify a complex world
Cognitive Bases of Prejudice People categorize others into groups on the basis of perceptually salient characteristics (e.g., race, gender, language) Subtyping then occurs on the basis of more subtle characteristics Social norms provide a basis for categorization based on other attributes (e.g., religion)
Cognitive Bases of Prejudice In category-based processing, the perceiver attends to individual characteristics only to determine if they are consistent with a social category This is very efficient compared with the alternative, attribute-based processing. Category-based processing is automatic. Category labels tend to be emotionally charged.
Cognitive Bases of Prejudice Category-based processing is influenced by the accessibility of categories Ambiguous or inadequate information is especially likely to lead people to rely on stereotypes
Cognitive Bases of Prejudice People tend to believe they should judge others as individuals rather than by using stereotypes. However, people only need to believe they have considered information about the other to feel justified in their judgments.
Cognitive Bases of Prejudice Advantages of Category-Based Processing Reduced the amount of data to process Allows us to go beyond the information given Disadvantages of Category-Based Processing Oversimplify and over-generalize Stereotypes foster prejudice Can generate false memories
Social Identity Perceiving people as members of in- groups and out-groups leads to In-group favoritism and group-serving biases The assumed-similarity effect Other in-group members are seen as more similar to the self than out-group members The outgroup homogeneity effect “They are all alike, while we are diverse.”
Social Identity Tajfel’s (1969) minimal intergroup situation randomly assigns people to two groups on an arbitrary basis Merely being categorized into groups leads people to show more favorable attitudes and behavior towards in- group than out-group members
Social Identity Assumptions of Social Identity Theory: 1. People categorize the world into in- groups and out-groups. 2. People derive self-esteem from their social identity as in-group members. 3. People’s self-esteem depends partly on how they evaluate the in-group relative to other groups.
Social Identity In-group favoritism enhances self- esteem. However, low self-esteem doesn’t foster in-group favoritism. People with low self-esteem are more prejudiced against out-groups, but they are negative about the in-group as well.
Comparison of Theories There is some truth to each of the theories (social learning, motivational, cognitive, social identity), and generally they complement each other. The major disagreement is whether cultural differences in prejudice stem from competition for resources or from other sources.
The Changing Face of Prejudice Declining Old-Fashioned Prejudices Most whites now endorse racial equality Anti-Semitism has decreased Anti-gay prejudice is also declining
The Changing Face of Prejudice However, there is still resistance to full equality Negative stereotypes persist Whites give only weak support to government action to promote racial equality
The Changing Face of Prejudice Is the apparent decline in racism real or illusory? Because there are few differences between responses to face-to-face interviews and private, anonymous survey questionnaires, most social scientists believe the decline is real.
The Changing Face of Prejudice Some believe that old-fashioned racism has been replaced by symbolic racism Symbolic racism reflects these beliefs: discrimination is no longer a major obstacle blacks do not make enough effort to help themselves demands for special treatment by blacks are unwarranted (and resented)
The Changing Face of Prejudice Symbolic racism is correlated with old-fashioned prejudice and is a stronger predictor of white’s opposition to policies such as affirmative action. Similar concepts have been applied to other prejudices, e.g. neosexism
The Changing Face of Prejudice Aversive Racism results from support for racial equality mixed with negative feelings towards blacks. Aversive racism leads whites to avoid blacks because they feel ashamed of having negative feelings and allows them to protect their self- image as unprejudiced. Aversive racism may allow whites to discriminate against blacks when there is a plausible non-racist justification for their actions.
The Changing Face of Prejudice Implicit stereotypes are automatically activated without awareness of their influence.
The Changing Face of Prejudice Measuring Implicit Stereotypes Example: people are asked to categorize words as + or -. If a picture of a black face before the word “lazy” speeds the response, while a black face before the word “intelligent” slows the response, this indicates that the person possesses an implicit stereotype.
The Changing Face of Prejudice There is much enthusiasm about implicit stereotype measures. However, they have not yet met all the standard criteria for good measurement.
The Changing Face of Prejudice Explicit measures of prejudice may correlate with deliberative judgments while implicit measures correlate with spontaneous, involuntary responses.
Reducing Prejudice Socialization Much change is happening spontaneously as target groups change and levels of education rise.
Reducing Prejudice Socialization Patricia Devine’s two-process “dissociation model:” Many people learn stereotypes early in life (which then are automatically activated) and tolerance later (a controlled process). When these people are distracted, they may display unintended prejudiced responses, which they then feel guilty about.
Reducing Prejudice Intergroup Contact Blacks and whites are still quite segregated in the U.S. Mere contact between groups will not necessarily reduce prejudice.
Reducing Prejudice Intergroup Contact Gordon Allport’s contact theory: Cooperative interdependence Equal status Sufficient frequency, duration, closeness Institutional support
Reducing Prejudice Intergroup contact is likely to decrease prejudice only if the conditions of Allport’s theory are met. E.g., Aronson’s “jigsaw technique” has been shown to lead to decreased prejudice, increased self-esteem and academic performance. However, many efforts at intergroup contact do not meet the conditions.
Reducing Prejudice Recategorization Encouraging people to recategorize members of the in-group and the out-group as members of a larger, more inclusive group may reduce prejudice. Superordinate group E.g., praying together as observant Christians at a game Cross-cutting categories E.g., members of different churches who belong to the same soccer team.
Reducing Prejudice Modern nations face the tension between desires for sub-group recognition and autonomy (e.g., multiculturalism) versus national integration and loyalty (e.g., color- blind society). This tension makes reducing prejudice more important than ever; but no one approach will solve the problem.