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Psychology to deal with diversity anddiversity management.ByJayadeva de Silva.M,Sc,FIPM,FITDWe would like to discuss here ...
they will be biased towards you (and away from anyone you cast asout-group).Stereotypes~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Stereotypes a...
exemplars to prove the case, such as the policeman next door. Wemay also store them hierarchically, such as black people, ...
similar to one another. ‘They’re all like that’ is a common referenceterm. In contrast, we see people in out in-group as b...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Schema~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A schema is a mental structure we use to organize and simplify ourknowle...
- Role schemas are about proper behaviors in given situations.- Event schemas (or scripts) are about what happens in speci...
go along with the others to avoid looking like a fool.National culture also has a significant effect, and countries like J...
categories, they will still act in classic ways towards in-group andout-group people.Tajfel (1970) randomly allocated to s...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Social Norms~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate valu...
one member or a small group is dominant and can force theirattitudes on the rest of the group. Prentice and Miller knew th...
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Psychology for diversity management and diversity training

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Learning resource on Psychology for diversity management and diversity training from Jayadeva de Silva (Humantalents International)

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Psychology for diversity management and diversity training

  1. 1. Psychology to deal with diversity anddiversity management.ByJayadeva de Silva.M,Sc,FIPM,FITDWe would like to discuss here some psychological theories to helpstudents of diversity management to appreciate the diversity amongpeople and orient them towards appropriate diversity managementpractices and diversity training based on the psychological researchfindingsIn-Group Bias~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~If we believe that someone else is in a group to which we belong, wewill have positive views of them and give them preferential treatment.This works because we build our self-esteem through belonging, andthe presence of someone from an in-group reminds us of thatbelonging. The opposite of in-group bias is out-group bias where, byinference, out-group people are viewed more negatively and givenworse treatment.This is the basis of racial inequality. In-group linguistic bias is whereout-group people are described in abstract terms (whichdeindividuates them) when they conform to the out-groupstereotype. Out-group people will be referred to in more specific,concrete terms when they act in unexpected ways.Psychologist Henri Tajfel visibly divided people in to random groups.They rapidly found in-group people preferable to out-group people,even finding rational arguments about how unpleasant and immoralthe out-group people were. Watch children in the school yard. Noticehow they form groups and how they treat those not in their gang.Make yourself and the other person a part of the same group, and 1
  2. 2. they will be biased towards you (and away from anyone you cast asout-group).Stereotypes~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Stereotypes are generalizations about a group of people whereby weattribute a defined set of characteristics to this group. Theseclassifications can be positive or negative, such as when variousnationalities are stereotyped as friendly or unfriendly.It is easier to create stereotypes when there is a clearly visible andconsistent attribute that can easily be recognized. This is why peopleof color, police and women are so easily stereotyped. People fromstereotyped groups can find this very disturbing as they experience anapprehension (stereotype threat) of being treated unfairly. We changeour stereotypes infrequently. Even in the face of disconfirmingevidence, we often cling to our obviously-wrong beliefs. When we dochange the stereotypes, we do so in one of three ways:- Bookkeeping model: As we learn new contradictory information,we incrementally adjust the stereotype to adapt to the newinformation. We usually need quite a lot of repeated information foreach incremental change. Individual evidence is taken as theexception that proves the rule.- Conversion model: We throw away the old stereotype and startagain. This is often used when there is significant disconfirmingevidence.- Subtyping model: We create a new stereotype that is asub-classification of the existing stereotype, particularly when we candraw a boundary around the sub-class. Thus if we have a stereotypefor Americans, a visit to New York may result in us having a ‘NewYorkers are different’ sub-type.We often store stereotypes in two parts. First there are thegeneralized descriptions and attributes. To this we may add 2
  3. 3. exemplars to prove the case, such as the policeman next door. Wemay also store them hierarchically, such as black people, Africans,Ugandans, Ugandan military, etc., with each lower order inheritingthe characteristics of the higher order, with additional characteristicsadded. Stereotyping can go around in circles. Men stereotype womenand women stereotype men. In certain societies this is intensified asthe stereotyping of women pushes them together more and theycreate men as more of an out-group.Stereotyping can be subconscious, where it subtly biases ourdecisions and actions, even in people who consciously do not want tobe biased. Stereotyping often happens not so much because ofaggressive or unkind thoughts. It is more often a simplification tospeed conversation on what is not considered to be an importanttopic. Stereotyping goes way beyond race and gender. Considerconversations you have had about people from the next town,another department in your company, supporters of otherfootball teams, and so on. Find how others stereotype you (ifpossible, getting them to stereotype you positively). They will have ablind spot to non-stereotyped behaviors, so you can do these andthey will often ignore it. Thus if you are stereotyped as a ‘kind oldman’, you can do moderately unkind things which may be ignored.To change a person’s view of your stereotype, be consistentlydifferent from it. Beware of your own stereotyping blinding you tothe true nature of other individuals. Stereotyping can be reduced bybringing people together. When they discover the other people arenot as the stereotype, the immediate evidence creates dissonance thatleads to improved thoughts about the other group.(Lippmann (1922), Allport (1954))~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Out-Group Homogeneity~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We tend to classify people who are not in our in-group as being 3
  4. 4. similar to one another. ‘They’re all like that’ is a common referenceterm. In contrast, we see people in out in-group as being moreindividual. We thus tend to use a set of stereotypes for people fromdifferent countries, cities and companies. These generalizations leadus to discriminate uniformly towards people from these groups.When visiting a new country or group, the behavior of the first fewpeople we meet will quickly be used to create a stereotype of theothers in the same group.Much of the fighting around the world is based on differences ofreligion. Zealots cast the other side as jointly and severally guilty forthe sins of their peers and equally likely to commit the same acts ofwar. Thus genocide seems the only answer as they blindly fight on.(Linville, Fischer and Salovey (1989), Quattrone (1986))~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Propinquity Effect~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The more we meet and interact with people, the more likely we are tobecome friends with them. As we meet people we become familiarand find things we like about them. It is not so much birds of afeather flock together as birds who just happen to be near eachother grow similar feathers. Festinger, Schachter and Back (1950)followed friendships in a small two-floor apartment building.Neighbors were mostly likely to be friends. Least likely were peopleon separate floors. Those near ground-floor staircases and mailboxeshad friends on both floors.Friendships appear in neighborhoods, workplaces, college classes andother places where people get together. To build trust, make friends.To make friends, ensure you meet up with the target people often.To ensure you meet up, arrange your life so you repeatedly ‘bumpinto’ them.(Festinger (1954), Schachter and Back (1950), Zajonc (1968)) 4
  5. 5. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Schema~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A schema is a mental structure we use to organize and simplify ourknowledge of the world around us. We have schemas aboutourselves, other people, mechanical devices, food, and in fact almosteverything. Schemas can be related to one another, sometimes in ahierarchy (so a salesman is a man is a human). Schemas affect whatwe notice, how we interpret things and how we make decisions andact. They act like filters, accentuating and downplaying variouselements. We use them to classify things, such as when we ‘pigeon-hole’ people. They also help us forecast, predicting what will happen.We even remember and recall things via schemas, using them to‘encode’ memories.Schemas appear very often in the attribution of cause. Schemas areoften shared within cultures, allowing short-cut communications.Every word is, in effect, a schema, as when you read it you receive apackage of additional inferred information. We tend to have favoriteschema which we use often. When interpreting the world, we will tryto use these first, going on to others if they do not sufficiently fit.Schemas are also self-sustaining, and will persist even in the face ofdisconfirming evidence. This is because if something does not matchthe schema, such as evidence against it, it is ignored. Some schemaare easier to change than others, and some people are more openabout changing any of their schemas than other people.Other types of schema include:- Social schemas are about general social knowledge.- Person schemas are about individual people.- Idealized person schemas are called prototypes. The word is alsoused for any generalized schema.- Self-schemas are about oneself. We also hold idealized or projectedselves, or possible selves. 5
  6. 6. - Role schemas are about proper behaviors in given situations.- Event schemas (or scripts) are about what happens in specificsituations.- The plural of Schema is Schemas (USA) or Schemata (UK).Schemas are also known as mental models, concepts, mentalrepresentations and knowledge structures (although definitions dovary--for example some define mental models as modeling cause-effect only).Cohen showed people a videotape of a scene including a librariandrinking. The people recalled (reconstructed) it with the librariandrinking wine, because their schemas for librarians classified them asbeing more likely to drink wine. Some people dislike police becausethey have a schema of police as people who perceive everyone asguilty until proven innocent. Other people feel safe around police astheir schemas are more about police as brave protectors. Findpeoples schemas around the area of interest, then either create trustby utilizing their schema or reframe to change their schema.Become more self-aware, knowing your own schemas and why thereare useful for you. When people try to change them, you can thenmore rationally understand whether your or their schemas are better.(Cohen (1981), Kelley (1972), Weiner (1979, 1986), Markus (1977))Normative Social Influence~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There is a fundamental human need to belong to social groups.Evolution has taught us that survival and prosperity is more likely ifwe live and work together. However, to live together, we need toagree on common beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors that reducein-group threats act for the common good. We thus learn to conformto rules of other people.And the more we see others behaving in a certain way or makingparticular decisions, the more we feel obliged to follow suit. This willhappen even when we are in a group of complete strangers. We will 6
  7. 7. go along with the others to avoid looking like a fool.National culture also has a significant effect, and countries like Japanare far more likely to be influenced by more individualistic culturessuch as in the USA (although it is a testament to the power of thiseffect that it still has a massive impact here). Solomon Asch showed agroup of people a line on a card and asked them to find a matchingline from a group of three lines on another card, one of which waspretty obviously the right choice. The catch was that all except oneperson in the group were collaborators and chose the wrong line.When it came to the ‘victim’s turn, guess what? In a range ofexperiments, 76% of them followed suit. The presence of just onesupporter reduced this to 18%.Fads and fashions lean heavily on normative social influence. So doracial, political and other situations of persuasion. To change aperson’s behavior, put them in a group who (perhaps primed) clearlyall exhibit the desired behavior. Then engineer the situation so theperson must exhibit the behavior or face potential rejection or othersocial punishment. If they do not comply, ensure the group givessteadily increasing social punishment rather than rejecting the targetperson immediately. When they do comply, they should receive socialreward (eg. praise, inclusion).Where you want to do something and the group in which youcurrently are socially punishes you for doing it, make a consciousdecision as to whether it is worth fighting back or just giving up andleaving. If they mean nothing to you, just carry on and ignore them.It can also be very heartening to watch other people resisting (andyour doing so may well give heart to other doubters).(Asch (1951, 1956, 1966))Minimum Group Theory~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Even when a people are arbitrarily assigned to unimportant group 7
  8. 8. categories, they will still act in classic ways towards in-group andout-group people.Tajfel (1970) randomly allocated to schoolboys to groups who‘preferred’ paintings by Klee or Kandinsky. When asked to allocatepoints, they were biased toward their own group. People in acrowded elevator will silently act together to dissuade additionalpeople from trying to get in. Find a minor point of similarity with theother person and put yourself and the other person in it, with rivalsin outside. Talk about ‘us and them.’(Tajfel (1970))~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Social Identity Theory~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~When we belong to a group, we are likely to derive our sense ofidentity, at least in part, from that group. We also enhance the senseof identity by making comparisons with out-groups. Social identity isdifferent from personal identity, which is derived from personalcharacteristics and individual relationships. Breakwell (1978) studiedteenage soccer fans, some of whom went to most games, whilstothers did not go to games. Those who did not go to games were themost vehement about their loyalty and showed most in-group bias,presumably as they had a greater need to prove themselves as fans.When abroad, especially in countries which have particularly differentlanguages and cultures, we feel our nationality far more keenly thanwhen we are at home. We will tend to band together in nationalgroups, perhaps making comments about the strangeness of thenatives. Invite the other person into a group which has characteristicsthat you want the other person to adopt.(Tajfel and Turner (1986), Turner (1982), Breakwell (1978)) 8
  9. 9. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Social Norms~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values,beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. These rules may be explicit orimplicit. Failure to stick to the rules can result in severe punishments,the most feared of which is exclusion from the group. A commonrule is that the some norms must frequently be displayed; neutrality isseldom an option.A common group norm amongst academics is that dress is casual(with the underlying implication that what goes on in the mind ismore important than what goes on the body).Other norms include:Injunctive Norms are behaviors which are perceived as beingapproved of by other people.Descriptive Norms are perceptions of how other people are actuallybehaving, whether or not these are approved of.Explicit Norms are written or spoken openly.Implicit Norms are not openly stated (but you find out when youtransgress them).(Kelley (1955), Deutch and Gerard (1955))~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Pluralistic Ignorance~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Groups all have norms of attitude and behavior which are shared andwhich help form the identity of the group. Adopting these norms,even if you do not agree with them, is a part of the individualsacrifice that people accept as a price of group membership. It is thuspossible for groups to have norms which hardly anyone agrees with,but with which everyone conforms. These situations typically occurwhen the norms are older than all members of the group or when 9
  10. 10. one member or a small group is dominant and can force theirattitudes on the rest of the group. Prentice and Miller knew thatthere was abnormally high levels of student alcohol consumption atPrinceton, through various eating clubs, rituals and parties that hadled to a number of deaths and injuries. When they questionedstudents, they found many who were very worried but who joinedin the celebrations for fear of rejection.When a lecturer asks a class Any questions? there will often be adeafening silence, even if nobody understands.(Allport (1933), Prentice and Miller (1993)_ 10

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