-in general, people are more likely to generalize behaviors and traits that they already suspect may be typical of the group's members; stereotypes can therefore be self-reinforcing
-Actions that are consistent with an existing stereotype are noticed, deemed significant, and remembered, whereas those at variance with the stereotype may be ignored, dismissed, or quickly forgotten
-Study: participants shown a video of two people in a heated discussion. For half the participants a black man did the shoving, for the other, a white man did the shoving. Participants coded the white man shoving as playing around, but coded the black man shoving as aggressive behavior
-The influence of stereotypes is likely to be even greater when the episode is presented to people secondhand and is therefore more open to differential construal
-Studies show that people do not evaluate information even-handedly. Instead, information that is consistent with a group stereotype typically has more impact than information that is inconsistent with it
o Developed as a reaction against the economic perspective: in particular, researchers wanted to argue that prejudice can arise even in the absence of any real competition over resources/power (intrinsic to people even when there's no competition)
Not saying economic perspective is wrong, just incomplete
o Psychologist Henri Tajfel
Ingroup favoritism (IGF)
Tendency to show favoritism towards members of your own group
Exception is system justification jost theory
o Henri Tajfel's insight (people already knew IGF was a thing)
Tajfel, like other psychologists before him, recognized that there are multiple reasons why IGF effects are so common, including:
Historical context (e.g. memory for previous wars) - people have selective memories (Americans remember things about American history that place themselves in favorable light)
Competition for scarce resources - Tajfel recognized that economic perspective was right
Familiarity - mere familiarity effects (people prefer what's familiar to them)
However, Tajfel wondered whether one would still obtain evidence for IGF effects even when these contributing elements are stripped away**** (this is Tajfels major insight)
Tajfel was particularly taken with the idea that mere categorization, in and of itself, would be sufficient to trigger IGF effects
o Why the "mere categorization" idea is important
Even superficial and seemingly meaningless distinctions between individuals can become the basis for collective identity" - Tajfel
o Minimal Group Paradigm
Tajfel would sort people into groups based on meaningless criteria
A brief consideration of some different minimal group paradigms
The "Klee vs Kadinsky" paradigm
• Two images where 50% prefer one, 50% prefer other
Dot estimation: "overestimators" vs. "underestimators"
Coin flip (pure random assignment)
• The most "minimal" of all of the minimal group paradigms
o Key findings from the minimal group paradigm (IGF effects)
In some paradigms, you give each group some amount of money and tell them to decide how to distribute it
Typical finding is people award somewhat more money to own group than others (~55 - 45)
Studies are controlled for self interest (this effect is not due to greed)
When ask to rate traits, you give your group slightly more favorable traits
The act of being sorted into a group that you now value (even though it's random) gives your self-esteem a boost
"If I belong to a group it must be good"
People want to be a part of groups that are of some positive value (boosts self esteem even if it's a randomly selected group)
• In minimal group paradigm, the predicted boost in self esteem after derogating the outgroup has not always been supported
• It is true that you judge the ingroup more favorably is a robust effect
• Demand characteristics in the study, subjects guessing what the experiment is about
• One explanation is that its ingroup favoritism instead of outgroup derogation
• Don't always favor the ingroup
Appears to be important exception to IGF: "black sheep" effects
• Basic idea: in the case of a serious "infraction", behaviors "feel" more negative when performed by IG members
• "Kansas state student arrested on rape charge"
• "Washington University student arrested on rape charge"
o Predict that you find this more aversive
BSE might seem, in a literal sense, to be the "opposite" of IGF
• IGF - favoring ingroup
• BSE - punishing ingroup
But, on a psychological level, are BSEs really the opposite?
• As it turns out, no, not really
• In other words, while BSEs represent, by definition, harsh treatment of a fellow ingroup member, this is done in the service of wanting to preserve the positive identity of the group as a whole (including the self)
• Cognitive Effort Hypothesis - stereotypes are labor saving devices, help us to make judgments quickly and efficiently
• Under conditions in which you need a labor saving device, the amount of stereotyping should
• Huge numbers of studies supporting this general view
o "Cognitive load" or "concurrent task" paradigm
iiterfere with ability to focus on primary task
• Evidence in support of the Cognitive Effort Hypothesis
• Cognitive load studies
• "Circadian Rhythm" study (Bodenhausen, 1990)
o Through prior questionnaire, subjects sorted to morning/afternoon people and then randomly assigned to a morning or afternoon task
o Participant was given a sizable packet regarding student
o Target race, White: +,+,+,+
o Target race, Hispanic+.-.-,+
o Under tired conditions, more likely to use race as judgment call
Public situations—being watched!
So, other things being equal, people are more likely to feel anxious/distracted if they are being watched than if they are not
Studies finding more stereotyping in (anticipated) public settings: Lambert, Cronen, Chasteen, and Lickel (1996)
Lambert, Payne, Jacoby et al. (2003)
Why would it be the case that public settings would tend to exacerbate stereotyping effects?
Three keys to understanding this:
public settings tend to make people anxious/distracted.
When people are anxious/distracted, they tend to rely on "well-learned responses" as a basis for judgment (i.e. rely on well—learned associations
The irony of self-regulation!
Self-regulation can fail precisely under the conditions in which you WANT it to succeed
To the extent that (public) self regulation makes you nervous, this can lead to self-defeating behavior, making you even more likely to "slip up"