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Prejudice and Discrimination

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Xiu Ching Saw

on 22 May 2014

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Transcript of Prejudice and Discrimination

Contact hypothesis
The origins of prejudice (sociocultural)
Biological Research;
Sherif et al. 1961
The Robber's Cave Experiment
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
A cognitive Process!
Prejudice and Discrimination
Whereby people categorize others

by their social group
by their looks
an attitude (usually -ve)
the combination of emotion and cognition
people judge based on stereotypes + emotional response elicited by contact
the verb
the way you behave (behaviour)
treat someone differently based on hu's membership in a group rather than as an individual
All chinese people
eat dogs
Mr.X saw his chinese neighbour walking his recently bought dog. He assumes that he is priming the dog to be eaten.
Understanding the root of prejudice and discrimination
Aim: Whether creation of groups would lead to conflict

Hypothesis: Conflicting aim = hostility between 2 groups.

Participants: Boys aged 11/12 years.

1) Went to summer camp where researchers posed as camp staff.

2) After few days, boys divided into two teams (separated from good friends). Given series of activities as bonding sessions.

3) Boys’ teams competed with each other to test hypothesis. Hostility grew to insults, aggression, fights and raids.

4) Superordinate goals to reduce prejudice and hostility e.g. water supply disrupted & truck broken down during outing. No choice but to cooperate.

5) Cooperation led to individual group identities broken down & collective group identity created.

Result: Created inter-group conflict and in-group bias (against other group and strongly favour their own group).
Reduction of prejudice can be attributed to contact hypothesis.
1) Prejudice increases:
- if contact between 2 groups
produces competition
- if status of one group
or group
left frustrated
due to contact
(Sherif research: raids or insults from both teams=frustration/lowered status)

2) Prejudices reduces:
- if groups are
with each other
- contact between them is

3) If not natural: Groups will feel awkward or uncomfortable (ice not broken). e.g.
Bowen and Bourgeois:
prejudice towards gays and lesbians in university campus lowered to those who lived near their dorms.

Banaji & Greenwald (1998)
Participants initially asked to categorize and indicate words as 'good' or 'bad'.
Computerized version required specific keys be pressed.

foot - '
foot - '
Participants then asked to do the same w/ images of young and old women in addition.
Round 1;
Right ('
') foot -
Left ('
') foot -

Round 2; Reversed Instructions
Right ('
') foot -
Left ('
') foot -

Participants more
to connote
'GOOD' foot
' women
, rather than 'bad' and 'old'
The Origins of Prejudice
HART (2000)
- '
black'&'white' participants

were flashed images of
other ethnic groups
stimulation (processes emotional responses to stimulus)
- participants reported having
no noticeable emotional changes

PHELPS (2000)
- found correlation; individuals with strong amygdala activation to subliminal stimuli & standardized scores on an ethnic prejudice test

Similar reactions observed in the amygdala upon looking at high school yearbook photos.

FISKE (2007)
- participant brain activity observed in MRI scanners
- shown a series of images (rich businessmen, older people, US Olympic athletes, disabled people,
homeless people)

- insula
activated; assosciated with
responds to non-human objects
(i.e garbage, faeces)

- dorsomedial prefrontal cortex; activated thinking about others&ourselves
not activated

Homeless people not reacted to as real people.

- to protect gene pool of community
(increases chances of in-group variation)

- advantage: to detect potential threat from strangers;
preference to in-group
rather than out-group genes
Bettelheim & Janowitz (1964)
- feelings of prejudice + acts of discrimination not based upon stereotypes
Cunningham (2004)
- follow-up research to Hart & Phelps; prolonged exposure to images
- frontal lobe shown to activate (along with the amygdala)
- cognitive control of emotions exerted
Real-life stereotyping groups in UK
Click to 2:23 and onwards
Cognitive Level of Analysis
The Cognitive relationship with Prejudice and Discrimination.
A key term that is associated with decision-making is called heuristics. 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), Tversky and Kahenmann (1982).
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 / Procedure
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.
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
How does it relate?
implies bidirectional ambiguity;
participants highly influenced by sociocultural habits;
response cannot be defined as innate or learned
Are the findings of the natural sciences as reliable as those of the human sciences?
Are there human qualities or behaviours that will remain beyond the scope of the human sciences?
To what extent do the knowledge claims of the social sciences apply across different historical periods and cultures?
Does psychological research ever prove anything? Why do we say that results only indicate or suggest?
Saw Xiu Ching
Marishka N. Magness
Nadiah Khairuzzaman
Isabella Jane Shah
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