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Discrimination and Prejudice

A psychology project by Maya, Charis, Antonia and Leonie in Pamoja Psychology SL (John Willoughby)
by

Maya Miltell

on 28 May 2013

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Transcript of Discrimination and Prejudice

Discrimination
and Prejudice BLOA CLOA SCLOA Discrimination Case Study: Apartheid in South Africa (1948-1994): Prejudice: An attitude against an individual or group based on stereotypes or opinion.

Discrimination: Behavior and actions that favor one group or individual more than another because of personal opinions/prejudice. This is classified as racial discrimination
since the black people experienced degradation and white people were favored in society. Study of Prejudice: Men and Women's Heights Aim: To investigate the power of prejudice Method: The participants were given a booklet with men and women and they were
asked to judge their heights. They were also told that "For every woman, there is a man with the equal height. So judge every case as an individual, not depending on sex." Results: Participants failed to accurately and equally estimate the heights, and there was a much higher estimate for the heights of men than women. Results: Prejudice has much influence over choices, even if told not to take the prejudice into consideration. However: The participants were told not to judge by sex, which could have skewed the data.

There is no cause-effect relationship, only a correlative relation.

The experiment lacks ecological validity.

The men might have looked taller because of different body proportions. OVERCOMING PREJUDICE Put Me In Your Shoes! "Friendship is the most important kind, as you might expect, though others have shown that friends of a friend can have an effect," -Thomas F. Pettigrew Think of a program where... Children from primary school learn to empathize with different people. Children hear the voices of other children. With Put Me In Your Shoes, children will go through an exchange program where they share diary entries or even simply letters with other children from another place. Names will remain anonymous, and only receivers will see the country where it's from. Integrated into school curricula like English or Social Studies, students will learn from a young age of a different lifestyle and make friends with someone from a different culture. They will also enjoy sharing their stories and understanding that people are different. Although Pettigrew and Tropp (2000, 2003) as well as Ma'oz (2002) state that forcing relationships can influence an opposite result rather than bringing the peoples together, this will be an activity where countries/identities being sent to will remain anonymous. Children will read the letters at school to avoid parents' intervention. The program will be organized by an international community or a local who has been outside of the area so that they might be more open-minded. ** Aside from this program, citizens should advocate for:
- transparency in the media (or even as Noam Chomsky says, express the need for an "anti-media" network so that they may get different viewpoints)
- transparency in the government
- different opinions
- international programs Allport (1956) suggested the contact hypothesis, which states that merely by assembling people we can destroy stereotypes and develop friendly attitudes.
However, we may not be able to travel that far. Aim:to see if the creation of groups alone would lead to conflict between two groups of boys aged 11 and 12 years.

Procedure:The boys came to a summer camp where the researchers were posing as staff and were split into two carefully chosen groups that were as homogenous as possible. The groups had to compete in a series of activities. As these continued, the boys began to freely insult the other group and there were acts of aggression. To diminish this hostility, the researchers made superordinate goals, meaning they created an urgent situation that affected both groups so they all had to work together to solve a problem.

Findings: A new, more inclusive group was created by having to work together and the group identities were broken down so the boys could work cooperatively.

Evaluation: a limitation was that all the participants came to the camp voluntarily, the group was homogeneous, and there was no long history of oppression, which resulted in equal status contact. - Stereotyping (social cognition)
Stereotyping can cause people to have negative images of other ethnic groups in their minds which can lead the individual to believe that the other group is somehow lesser, thus leading to racist attitudes.

- Fundamental attribution error
Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE) can cause one to erroneously associate one's race with their actions. If one sees an Asian person get an A on a math test, they may assume they got the A because they're Asian.

- Contact hypothesis (Allport, 1956)
Allport's contact hypothesis is a way to prevent or reduce racism. He believed that if people from a variety of ethnic groups were put together to work cooperatively with no competition, then prejudice would be eliminated. This may work because all the ethnic groups are now part of the same in-group, which leads one to look at them more positively. Robbers' Cave experiment (Sherif, 1961) Heuristics (Shortcuts or tricks to making easy decisions) may influence how people interpret the behavior of others. People make judgements on the availability heuristic (they base decisions on the information that is most readily available). eg. If the media focuses on a stereotypical poverty and crime rate among the Roma (gypsy) population a businessperson may decide that a Roma is not the right person for a job at their company. Darley and Gross (1983) Aim: To test the hypothesis that schematic processing result in distorted perception of people when they have to make judgments about their ability Method: The participants first saw a video of a young girl in her everyday surroundings. In one of the videos she appeared to be poor and in the other one from the middle class. This 'status' was to be associated by the surroundings. When the participants were asked about the academic prospects of the two girls in the future they all said they would do fine and have an education. For the culture in the USA this is an expected answer as they believe everyone should have the same opportunities.
A new group of participants saw either one of the videos followed by a second video where the girl was seen from behind responding in an ambiguous way to a test that seemed like an intelligence test even though it wasn't mentioned what it was. The participants were than asked to rate the girl's academic abilities. Results: The 'rich girl' was judged to be better across all domains than the 'poor girl'. The participants even added comments like that they thought the test for the 'rich girl' was more difficult. Conclusion: The results were interpreted in terms of social cognition. Due to the ambiguous information about the girl in the second video the participants used the information from the first video to form an impression of the girl subsequently to seeing the second video.
Their prejudice about disfavored groups (poor people) became active and led them to conclude that one of the girls did not have many chances. Biological Factors in Racism - Response from amygdala
- Evolutionarily advantageous, to protect our genes from the out-group. Hart (2000)- Findings: When white and black participants were given brief subliminal glimpses of faces of individuals from other ethnic groups, both showed increased activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain that is responsible for processing emotional responses to stimuli.- Evaluation: The participants reported having no noticeable change in their emotional state during the study, so they were not conscious of their emotional response.
Phelps (2000)- Findings: Found that there was a correlation between those individuals whose amygdala was most strongly activated after being exposed to these subliminal stimuli and scores on a standardized test for ethnic prejudice. - In addition to these subliminal studies, similar reactions in the amygdala have been observed when participants were asked to look at school yearbook photos of students belonging to different ethnic groups.
Fiske (2007)- Procedure: Participants were placed into an MRI scanner and then shown a series of photos. These photos included people with disabilities, rich businessmen, older people, US Olympic athletes, and homeless people.- Findings: When participants showed homeless person, their brains set off a series of reactions associated with disgust. An area in the brain called the insula was activated, which is usually a response to non-human objects such as a garbage and human waste.- Evaluation: Being able to detect a potential threat from strangers could have been an evolutionary advantage which helps to distinguish friends from enemies. - Since prejudice has an emotional component, it means that cognitive factors play a strong role in determining whether one actually acts in accordance with these immediate brain responses.
- One of the concerns is the use of correlational research. Correlational studies do not demonstrate causality, and can lead to bidirectional ambiguity. Evaluation of Biological
Research
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