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Explanations of Prejudice and Discrimination<br />Mere exposure effect<br />•Repeated exposure to an object results in gre...
Q3L07 - origins of prejudice
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Q3L07 - origins of prejudice

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Q3L07 - origins of prejudice

  1. 1. Explanations of Prejudice and Discrimination<br />Mere exposure effect<br />•Repeated exposure to an object results in greater attraction to that object.<br />Frustration-aggression hypothesis<br />•Theory that all frustration leads to aggression, and all aggression comes from frustration.<br />•Psychodynamic theory – assumption of a fixed amount of psychic energy for humans to perform psychological activities. Completed activity = catharsis. <br />•Dollard et. al (1939) argued if goal achievement is prevented, energy remains = disequilibrium.<br />•Can only be corrected by aggression.<br />•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.<br />•Therefore, it is displaced on to an alternative target scapegoat<br />Scapegoat theory<br />•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.<br />•E.g. The frustration-aggression hypothesis on the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany during 20s and 30s<br />Theoretical principlesHistorical eventsPersonal goalsPolitical and economic dominance of GermanyPsychic energy activatedEach and every German in a state of arousal (WWI)Frustration of goal achievementDefeat and Treaty of Versailles (1919)Disequilibrium. Instigation to aggressEconomic and political crisis (postwar to early 20s)Location of scapegoatAnti-Semitism of 20s and 30s<br />Adorno’s Authoritarian Personality<br />•Theory proposed that autocratic and punitive child-rearing practices were responsible for the emergence of clusters of prejudices from childhood to adulthood.<br />•Limitations: situational and sociocultural factors are underemphasised.<br />•E.g. Sth Africa and southern US > racist than Nth US – but had no differences in authoritarian personality<br />•Constructed California F-scale to assess tendencies towards fascism.<br />•9 variables in the F Scale: <br />1) Conventionalism: strict following of conventional, middle-class values <br />2) Authoritarian submission: submissive, uncritical attitudes towards idealised authorities of the ingroup; <br />3) Authoritarian aggression: condemnation and rejection of those who violate conventional values, and request for their severe punishment;<br />4) Anti-intraception: opposing to everything subjective, imaginative, not dealing with own inner psychic life and experience; <br />5) Rigid thinking, Superstition and stereotypy: tendency to think in rigid categories and belief in mystical causes of the individual's fate; <br />6) Power and "toughness”: identification with those who own power, exaggerate importance of strength, toughness, discipline; <br />7) Destructiveness and cynism - rejection of compassion and empathy, generalised hostility;<br />8) Projectivity - projection of inner unconscious impulses onto the outer world, belief that world is dominated by secret and dangerous forces<br />9) Sex: overemphasised interest in sexual deviations, false morality<br />CRITICISM<br />•Problems with the theory:<br />•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.<br />•Cannot easily account for prejudice affecting large groups/whole societies e.g. South Africa under apartheid <br />Social dominance theory<br />•Theory that attributes prejudice to an individual’s acceptance of an ideology that legitimises ingroup-serving hierarchy and domination, and rejects egalitarian ideologies.<br />•Originally about desire for ingroup domination over outgroups. <br />•People who desire their ingroup to be dominant and superior to outgroups = high social dominance orientation and are more inclined to be prejudiced than those with low social dominance orientation.<br />Belief congruence<br />•The theory that similar beliefs promote liking and social harmony among people while dissimilar beliefs produce dislike and prejudice.<br />

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