Essay on Stereotype and Group Homogeneity Effect

Submitted By Bebedep1
Words: 1070
Pages: 5


Stereotyping refers to overgeneralization. attributing identical characteristics to everyone in a group e.g. natural rhythm - blacks, Jews - good businessmen, Italians - talk with their hands, Asians - good at math and science; just like any form of categorization, stereotypes are a form of cognitive economy (Cognitive busyness - when we are busy doing other things our stereotypes may be activated automatically, without our awareness)- they fulfill the Object Appraisal function of attitudes (non-criterial beliefs). On the one hand, stereotypes are adaptive shorthand (heuristics - representative), on the other they blind us to individual differences and can be maladaptive and dangerous. Stereotype is a fixed impression which may conform little with facts or an exaggerated belief associated with a category through which we organize our experiences; not modified in the face of new information; based on hearsay, rumor, anecdotal evidence (availability heuristic) ; maintains simplicity in thinking Typical characteristics a. exaggerated homogeneity within groups (in-out grp bias)(biased perceptions) b. exaggerated differences between groups (social adjustment function) c. erroneous causal perception (neg. attributions) (selectivity) d. situation can affect (history, media portrayals) (representative heuristic, illusory correlations) e. e. rigid in the face of new inf.( Automatic) Katz & Braly (1930's) Princeton students ; list traits most characteristic of 10 ethnic groups (Negroes, Italians, Germans, Jews, Chinese, Irish; Ss choose from a list of 84 traits (cheerful, shrewd, rhythmic, lazy, dirty, sophisticated, sportsmanlike, happy-go-lucky; intelligent, ignorant, lying, industrious, deceitful, loud, careful, etc. Findings: ? Of course, this technique forces Ss to think in terms of stereotypes and categories How would you fit this into schema theory (implicit personality theory)? Gaertner & McLaughlin (1983

PREJUDICE Prejudice is a hostile feeling toward a person who belongs to a group simply because he/she belongs to the group; the effect is placing the object of prejudice at a disadvantage; an inference based on faulty and inflexible generalization Wax - a Canadian social scientist sent identical letters to several resorts requesting accommodations - signed Mr. Lockwood or Mr. Greenberg. Findings: Mr. Lockwood accommodated ---% of time; Mr. Greenberg - ---% This example demonstrates 2 essential ingredients of prejudice: 1) hostility and rejection; 2) the basis of the rejection was categorical (Racial bias in employment - affirmative action) Prejudice is only prejudice if it is not altered in the face of new information Acting out prejudice What people do in relation to a group they do not like is not always related to their feelings about others (attitude-behavior relationship) Antilocution talking about prejudices; joke telling; antagonistic talk Avoidance avoiding members of the disliked group; taking the burden of accommodation upon yourself Discrimination deny the equality of treatment Segregation an institutionalized form of discrimination, legally or by common custom Physical attack acts of violence; evictions, threats, desecration of religious places Extermination lynching, pogroms, massacres, genocide Causes Separatism (ethnocentrism) automatic cohesion to our own groups; in-grp/out-grp bias; ghetto attitude ;familiarity breeds comfort; attributional error - we are good (in group bias), they are bad (out group homogeneity effect);(mere exposure) Categorization Cognitive sources: a) kernel of truth - there is some truth to the stereotype therefore we believe it; admitting exceptions allows us to maintain our stereos and prejudices (he's a credit to his race); b) organizing info into categories