Processes Related to Stereotypes

  • Emotion and Cognition in Prejudice
  • All attitudes have 3 components: affect, behavioural, and cognition.
    • At the core of prejudice is often fear of frustration.
    • Scapegoats are group of people towards whom the aggression is directed, ex. Jews during World War II.
  • There are types of personality more subject to prejudice – the authoritarian personality.
    • They’re obedient to superiors, but don’t have much sympathy for those they deem inferior to themselves – oppressive. And rigid thinkers, inflexible with their viewpoints.
    • They use prejudice to protect their ego and avoid confronting aspects of themselves because they’re always focussed on others.
    • Personality type is hard to change.
  • Frustration Aggression Hypothesis – not personality based, but more emotional.
    • Someone getting frustrated can lead to prejudice. When someone’s frustrated, frustrations turn to aggressive impulses, and direct that towards the employer. But you may lose your job, so you keep bottling up the aggression – and rechannel it somewhere else. Often towards minorities.
    • Display aggression towards other people – scapegoating. Often seen in times of economic hardship.
  • Hypothesis of Relative Deprivation –upsurge in prejudice when people are deprived of something they feel entitled to.
    • Leads to collective unrest, upsurge in prejudice and discrimination.
  • Prejudice and Discrimination Based on Race, Ethnicity, Power, Social Class, and Prestige
  • Prejudice and discrimination usually talked about in relation to racial and ethnic groups.
    • Physical characteristics with social significance – some have more meanings than others. Ex. skin color, but not eye color. Attached meaning to skin color.
    • Ethnicity – ex. Puerto Rican, Irish, Japanese. Also include groups like Jews defined more by cultural practices than country of origin.
  • Can also be based on power, social class, or prestige.
    • Power – political power, economic (unfair hiring policies to minorities), personal (laws can limit where someone lives/etc.)
    • Social Class – status is relative, often sets stage for prejudice (people on top maintain differences between themselves and lower class – the Just World Phenomenon contributes to prejudice).
    • Prestige – often based on occupation.
  • Stigma – Social and Self
  • Extreme disapproval/discrediting of individual by society – 2 forms: social stigma and self-stigma
    • Social stigma can be fuelled or associated with several other key concepts: stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination. Relationship between stigma and these is unclear.
      • Stigma against mental health is big problem – ex. stereotype is mentally ill are violent (cognition), I become scared of mentally ill (affect, prejudice), so may not want to live with them or hire them (behavior, discrimination)
    • Self-stigma is individual can internalize all the negative stereotypes, prejudices, and discriminatory experiences they’ve had, and may feel rejected by society.
      • someone who has HIV/AIDS and feels the stigma may go into denial that they have the condition, experiences hits from self-esteem and suffer from depression, and display behaviours that isolate themselves from society.
  • Social Circles
    • 1st = self
    • 2nd = family
    • 3rd = society
    • 4th = media
    • Bidirectional relationships between all these groups.
  • Media is major source of stigma, because can depict conditions as being dangerous, etc. Social media is also huge component.
  • Society – interactions between self and society like education/employment/health care and stigmatizing views can affect individual to get a job, healthcare, etc. Use of legislation and anti-discrimination laws.
  • Family – family can be shunned by society, or shun individual themselves. Ex. isolate the individual and keep as secret within family. May be detrimental to personal/intimate relationships, and interventions like education/therapy are important.
  • Self – Can lead to avoidance, denial of condition, suffering of mental health conditions, and no longer participating in society. Useful interventions include educating, access to support groups/resources.
  • Social PerceptionPrimacy and Recency Bias
  • First impressions are
    • 1) long (lasts a long time)
    • 2) strong (tough to overcome) and
    • 3) built up (put extra emphasis on info that helps reinforce first impression, and not info that doesn’t).
    • Called the primacy bias – assessor selection is made based on information presented earlier in the process
  • Your most recent actions are also very important, and people place a lot of emphasis on your recent actions/performances, more than ones before – the recency bias.
    • Information retention (memory) also has primacy and recency bias.
  • Social Perception – The Halo Effect
  • The halo effect is tendency people have inherently good/bad natures, rather than looking at individual characteristics.
    • The physical attractiveness stereotype – believe attractive people have more positive personality traits.
      • Jim, overall impression is in the middle. His accounting bar is very high, sales negative, leadership is moderately good.
    • Now imagine, he has overall good impression, even though he has the same actual skillset. We would perceive that the person is much better at other skills not demonstrated. We may perceive he’s actually pretty good at sales, regardless of evidence. Same with leadership and accounting.
    • Almost as if he has a halo on his head – the halo effect.
    • Often happens with celebrities, and greater attractiveness.
  • Now imagine someone who we think is overall very poor. Even if baseline skills are same, we perceive them to all be lower – the reverse halo effect. Can carry over into how we see other attributes about the person.
  • Social Perception – The Just World Hypothesis
  • “You got what you deserve”.
  • The “Just World Hypothesis” – Noble actions performed by an individual, while evil acts are always punished.
    • Suggests there is some kind of special force, cosmic justice at play.
    • Reason people think in this way because it helps individuals rationalize their good or misfortune. Ex. if I go to school I will be rewarded in life
    • However, world doesn’t always work this way, and using this hypothesis we may blame people in poverty for being poor.
  • When the “just world hypothesis” is threatened, we can use these rational techniques
    • Accept reality
    • Prevent or correct injustice – with petition or changes to legal system
  • Irrational techniques can also be used
    • Denial of the situation
    • Reinterpreting the events – the outcome, the cause, and the character of the victim.
  • How do we explain the behavior of other people?
    • Attribution Theory – explaining other people’s behavior based on internal vs. external causes
      • JWH overemphasizes the internal factors rather than external (fundamental attribution error)
  • Ethnocentrism and Cultural RelativismIn Group and Outgroup
  • Judging someone else’s culture from the position of your own culture – ethnocentrism
    • Viewing our own culture to be superior to that of others
    • Can lead to cultural bias and prejudice
  • Or you can judge and understand their culture from within their culture – cultural relativism
    • No absolute right or wrong, but we have different cultures who are themselves valid.
    • Can falter if someone uses it to conduct activities that violate rights of humans no matter what culture they’re from.
  • People within groups share psychological connection between peers, related to culture/spirituality.
    • “In” group – the one we are connected with. Stronger interactions than with those in the out group, and more influential as well.
    • “Out” group – group we’re not associated with
    • Group favouritism – we favour people in our own group, but those in outgroup are neutral – we don’t give them favours we do to our in group.
    • Out group derogation – we are super friendly to our in group, but not friendly to out group – we discriminate. Happens if we feel that the out group is threatening to the in group’s success.
    • Group polarization – Group makes decisions that are more extreme than any individual member in the group would want. This can turbo charge the group’s viewpoints.
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