Apl07 causes of prejudice

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Apl07 causes of prejudice

  1. 1. • Repeated exposure to an object results in greater attraction to that object. Mere exposure effect
  2. 2. • Theory that all frustration leads to aggression, and all aggression comes from frustration. • Psychodynamic theory – assumption of a fixed amount of psychic energy for humans to perform psychological activities. Completed activity = catharsis. • Dollard et. al (1939) argued if goal achievement is prevented, energy remains = disequilibrium. • Can only be corrected by aggression. • Target of aggression is usually the perceived agent of frustration, but sometimes the agent is amorphous (e.g. bureaucracy), indeterminate (the economy), too powerful, unavailable or someone you love. • Therefore, it is displaced on to an alternative target  scapegoat Frustration-aggression hypothesis
  3. 3. • If a group is frustrated in its goals by another group that is too powerful, the aggression is displaced on to a weaker group = scapegoat. • E.g. The frustration-aggression hypothesis on the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany during 20s and 30s Scapegoat theory Theoretical principles Historical events Personal goals Political and economic dominance of Germany Psychic energy activated Each and every German in a state of arousal (WWI) Frustration of goal achievement Defeat and Treaty of Versailles (1919) Disequilibrium. Instigation to aggress Economic and political crisis (postwar to early 20s) Location of scapegoat Anti-Semitism of 20s and 30s
  4. 4. Adorno’s Authoritarian Personality • Theory proposed that some people are more genetically predisposed to prejudice and the autocratic and punitive child-rearing practices were responsible for the emergence of clusters of prejudices from childhood to adulthood. • Limitations: situational and sociocultural factors are underemphasised. – E.g. Sth Africa and southern US > racist than Nth US – but had no differences in authoritarian personality • Constructed California F-scale to assess tendencies towards fascism. • 9 variables in the F Scale:
  5. 5. • 1) Conventionalism: strict following of conventional, middle-class values • 2) Authoritarian submission: submissive, uncritical attitudes towards idealised authorities of the ingroup; • 3) Authoritarian aggression: condemnation and rejection of those who violate conventional values, and request for their severe punishment; • 4) Anti-intraception: opposing to everything subjective, imaginative, not dealing with own inner psychic life and experience; • 5) Rigid thinking, Superstition and stereotypy: tendency to think in rigid categories and belief in mystical causes of the individual's fate; • 6) Power and "toughness”: identification with those who own power, exaggerate importance of strength, toughness, discipline; • 7) Destructiveness and cynism - rejection of compassion and empathy, generalised hostility; • 8) Projectivity - projection of inner unconscious impulses onto the outer world, belief that world is dominated by secret and dangerous forces • 9) Sex: overemphasised interest in sexual deviations, false morality
  6. 6. • Problems with the theory: • Prejudice within a society can change very quickly – e.g. Germany in 1930s, US following Pearl Harbor – not consistent with Adorno’s idea that prejudice always goes back to childhood/genetics. • Cannot easily account for prejudice affecting large groups/whole societies e.g. South Africa under apartheid CRITICISM
  7. 7. • The theory that similar beliefs promote liking and social harmony among people while dissimilar beliefs produce dislike and prejudice. Belief congruence
  8. 8. • Groups competing for valuable and scarce resources will develop prejudices against the opposing group. – E.g. Sherif’s “Robbers Cave” experiment – ‘Immigrants take our jobs’ – Cronulla beach as the resource to obtain – Brewer and Campbell (1976) surveyed 30 African tribal groups and found greater derogation of tribal outgroups that lived close by and therefore more likely to be direct competitors for scarce resources (i.e. water and land) Levine and Campbells – Realistic Conflict Theory
  9. 9. Sherif - Robbers Cave (1966) • Phase 1 – In-Group Formation: Two groups of boys transported to camp separated. Form friendships. Unaware of the other group. Each had a group name (Rattlers vs Eagles) • Phase 2 – Friction: Two groups brought together in intergroup competitions. Produced hostility, competition. Ethnocentrisms amplified with intergroup aggression and ingroup solidarity. • Phase 3 – Integration: Bringing the two groups together through superordinate goals.
  10. 10. Criticism • Questions over the validity of the Robber’s Cave study: – Unrepresentative samples (US American boys; limited numbers) – Contrived & artificial situation • Competition does not always create prejudice (e.g. Tyerman & Spencer’s study with UK scouts) • The short-term nature of the groups established in camp studies does not address long-term intergroup conflicts.
  11. 11. • Tendency to consider all members of an out-group as similar and ignore individual differences. • The prejudiced individual attributes observed differences as ‘exceptions to the rule’ • Able to recognise individual differences in the in-group. – E.g. A woman might think: ‘All men are insensitive and lacking in communication skills’  meet a man who is sensitive and communicative  ‘He must have had a lot of sisters.’ Outgroup Homogeneity Bias
  12. 12. • How we explain behaviour. • The cause we give to an action is dependent on whether the action is ‘bad’ or ‘good’ and if the person is in our in-group or an out-group. Fundamental Attribution Error ‘Bad’ behaviour ‘Good’ behaviour In-group External Cause Internal Cause Out-group Internal Cause External Cause Individual: White Man ‘Bad’ - stealing ‘Good’ – in a position of power In-group – white man He has had a hard life He is intelligent and a hard worker Out-group – black man He has no morals He got there through affirmative action
  13. 13. Social Identity Theory • Prejudice is caused by social processes occurring between groups of people • It happens because of the way our sense of self (identity) is determined by the groups we belong to • We derive our identity in part from the social groups we belong to (culture, religion, profession, football team…) – Consequently, we feel better about ourselves when we feel good about our social groups – We get to feel good about our social groups by comparing them favourably with other groups • Prejudice is a strategy for achieving & maintaining self-esteem: – We will tend to be biased towards in-group members and against out-group members – We will pay more attention to criteria that make our in- groups look better than salient out-groups
  14. 14. Theory (cont’d) • Favouritism towards in-group: • Levine et al (2005) – Man-U & Liverpool fans more likely to help an injured person if wearing own team’s colours • Football fans – self-esteem linked to team performance; tendency to criticise other teams/fans (esp. if local); tendency to emphasise other ways of being superior if team doing poorly (e.g. ‘Chelsea fans are glory hunters, not real fans’ etc.)
  15. 15. Criticism • Most studies show bias towards in-group – not necessarily the same thing as prejudice
  16. 16. Social Learning Theory • Acquiring negative attitudes toward various social groups through direct and vicarious learning experiences • Parents, teachers, friends, the mass media all play roles in the development of prejudice • Consider how minority groups or the two genders have been portrayed in the media
  17. 17. • Majority of the world population are white, professional, middle-class males. • Women make up 28% of the population. • 50% of all females are teenagers or early 20s. • More than 1/3 of all females are unemployed or in positions of emotional support or objects of sexual desire. • 80% of all minority groups are service workers, criminals, victims or students. • Over 50% of all villains have foreign accents. • 85% of all victims of crime are women, young boys or non- white people. • This is the world according to the statistics portrayed on TV! The World:

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