Reducing Stereotypes, Prejudice and Discrimination

Social Psychology Exam

  • Created by: Kate
  • Created on: 07-06-11 01:18

Intergoup Conflict: Allport's Contact Hypothesis

"under certain conditions, direct contact between hostile groups will reduce prejudice"

What are the 5 conditions in Allports Contact Hypothesis?

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Must have four out of five of the following:

1. Outgroup members must displaybehaviours & traits that challenge the negative stereotypes associated with their group.

2. Local authorities and norms must support the hypothesis.

3. Contact must be among individuals of equal status e.g they are all treated badly because they are on detention- breakfast club.

4.The contact group needs to occur at the individual levels (personal activity) e.g members all in a group because they are on detention.

5. Members of the group must work together towards a common goal (superordinate goals).

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The JigSaw Classroom

Why is the Jigsaw Classroom So effective?

  • It uses superordinate goals where each student has a part.
  • It is a model of how to use interpersonal contact to promote greater tolerance of diversity.
  • Each students part is essential, therefore each student is essential.
  • It is a cooperative learning method used to reduce racial prejudice through interaction in group efforts.

It is also effective in corporate training.

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Prejudice in Schoools

*There have been harmful effects of racially seperated schools as they do not have any conditions of the contact hypothesis

(Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka 1954)

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Culture: Power of the Media

Media perpetuates stereotypes ---> These need to be reversed!

Exposure to material that reflects positive change and diversity within social groups in order to weaken stereotypes

  • combat automatic activation (implicit= people do not know they are doing it)
  • white privilege is displayed frequently, emphasis on affluence
  • Male stereotypes very strong 
  • victim and/or hero
  • marginalizes working-class
  • People with disabilities 
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Almost entirely absent from media until recently, when they do appear they are almost always in stereotyped roles -> e.g wheel chair.

often portrayed as the victim or a hero who overcomes their disability and proves their worth.

Supercrip- a person who conforms to the individual model by overcoming their disability and becoming more 'normal' in a heroic way.

Disability as a challenge one must overcome if a person "tries hard enough" to be normal. (this makes audience feel better about the condition)

Reduces imputes to accommodate, however positive stereotypes are still stereotypes

Disabled people viewed as objects of pity e.g forest gump, his disability becomes the brunt of jokes.

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media continued

Wheelchairs dominate, they are an iconic sign of disability.

more has to be done to present disability in a better light.

Contemporary solutions often informed by social psychological research:

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

  • Does the portrayal victimise the disabled person?
  • Does the portrayal patronise the disabled person?
  • Does the portrayal demonise the disabled person?

Malcolm in the Middle- the boy in the wheelchair is right in there with the kids, getting into trouble with them. 

Canadian Association of Broadcasting

  • Consider scenes in which that are common place for non-disabled.
  • consider as rounded individuals with good and bad qualities.
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Media: Social Class Stereotypes

Social researchers point out that mainstream media skew portrayals toward white middle and upper classes. 

  • Exaggerate affluence
  • when working class is depicted they are depicted as: immature, irresponsible and requiring supervision.
  • News and information media also express bias against working class interests.
  • PBS prime time programming - 27 hrs vs 253 hours (27 working class, 253 upper class).
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Male Stereotypes Study (1999)

Male Stereotypes study 1999

Asked boys between 10-17 of their image of males on the television...

  • Most men kept their attention focused on women and girls
  • men are violent and angry
  • generally leaders and problem solvers
  • funny, confident and athletic 
  • rare to see crying or showing vulnerability
  • mostly shown in the workplace
  • 1/3 boys in study had never seen a man on TV doing a domestic chore
  • Most boys aware that male characters differed from own friends, fathers and themselves.
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ABCs of Psychology

Affect (bad feelings) --> Prejudice

Behaviour --> Discrimination

Cognition (beliefs)--> Stereotype

These influence each other and reinforce each other and it becomes a cycle.

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Group: direct interactions with each other over a period of time

  • joint membership in social category based on culture, sex etc
  • a shared common fate, identity or set of goals.

We see people in fundamentally ways if we see them as an aggregate of individuals

Racism- prejudice and discrimination based on a person's ethnicity/cultural background.

Sexism- prejudice and discrimination based on a persons sex. 

In group=groups we are in. out groups=groups other than our own.

*Race is a social construct, biologically there is only one race- human race.

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1. Nature of the problem....Racism

Research reveals that racial prejudice as been on the decline over the last several decades.

Modern Forms:

  • A form of racism that surfaces in subtle ways when it is safe, socially acceptable and easy to rationalise.

Implicit Racism

  • Racism that operates unconsciously and unintentionally. 
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Racism in Sport

Study: 2009 - Parsons

Found to pull more strikes on people that were not of the same race of the umpire. Only under conditions, only under conditions when there was less likely to be public outcry.

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Implicit Forms of Racism

Operates at an unrecognised level.

Implicit forms of racism skew judgement and behaviour.

Facial Features and Death Penalty----> if a person looks more stereotypically black then more likely to have been told they are guilty.

Studies show people were more likely to describe the person as black if they were displaying an angry face. 

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Aversive Racism=

Consciously knowing, and professing that all people are equal, yet subconsciously treating and judging some groups (races, genders, Ethnicities) differently.

A study (2005): where defendants black or white in robbery case were told info but then told to ignore it, when situation was more ambiguous (been told to ignore something) they are more likely to judge the black person as guilty. 

Explicit Racism

As children get older and develop the ability to think ore critically they can learn to change their minds on racism.

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Blatant displays of sexism are less socially acceptable and seem to have diminished over time, but discrimination based on sex is still prevalent today.

Sex differences are distinct in the way that they are not only descriptive but also prescriptive.

They tell people what they should do or be

e.g females should be nurturing and warm.

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Ambivalent Sexism

form of sexism characterized by attitudes about women that reflect both negative and resentful beliefs and feelings AND affectionate and chivalrous but potentially patronising beliefs and feelings.

Hostile Sexismnegative feelings about the value of women and their ability to challenge male power.

Benevolent sexism-Benevolent sexism is a chivalrous attitude toward women that feels favorable but is actually sexist because it casts women as weak creatures in need of men's protection.

These two are positively correlated. Stereotypes of women tend to be more positive than those of men but those traits are less valued than mens.

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Some people are more prejudice than others....WHY is this???

Causes of the problem: Intergroup & Motivational Factors

Being reminded of ones own mortality makes people put things into greater perspective, thereby tending to reduce ingroup-outgroup distinctions and hostilities??? FALSE

Motives Between Groups; We live, work, play and fight in groups

Fundamental motive is need to affiliate

  • serves as basic motive for self-protection
  • also can generate us vs. them mentality
  • people tend to favour ingroups over outgroups (them) 

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Robbers Cave Study- Sherif et al. 1961

  • examined intergroup conflict
  • Superordinate goals: mutual goals that could be achieved through only cooperation.

group of 11 boys thought they were on summer camp, certain groups of boys thought they were the only ones there, had a great time fishing etc, then introduced the boys to another group of boys, played football matches etc, causing so much conflict "turning into little monsters" only thing that caused peace was superordinate goals in which they had to work together, Real world application...war??

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Intergroup....Realistic Conflict Theory

One group may be more successful than another.

  • direct competition for valuable but limited resources breeds hostility between groups. e.g land, jobs, power.
  • but "realistic" competition can be imagined. "Keeping up with the Joneses" 
  • Relative Deprivation: Feelings of discontent aroused by the belief that one fares poorly compared to others.
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Social Identity Theory

Reclaiming self worth by moaning about others.

Sad that we belittle others to make us feel closer together eg gossip, become biased to ingroups.

Self esteem has two basic components -> personal identity and social identity.

personal identity- personal achievements.

social identity-affiliation with successful groups

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Dominance and Status

Social Dominance Orientation: a desire to see one's ingroup as dominant over other groups and a willingness to adopt cultural values that facilitate oppression over other groups. -->some people have more social dominance than others naturally.

System Justification: processes that may endorse and legitmise existing social arrangements i.e the status quo ---> e.g happy but poor, rich but miserable= justification.

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Causes of the problem: Cognitive and Cultural Factors

Culture- kids often mirror what their friends and family say as they are not old enough for critical evaluation.

Ingroups (IG) vs Outgroups (OG)- people look at them as completely seperate whereas in reality they do have similarities. 

Social Categorization

  • often adaptive e.g saves time and energy
  • overestimate difference between groups and underestimate within groups.
  • homogeneity effect- our group is different, don't notice differences in outgroups because they have no contact with them. 
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Social Categorisation

    • Age, sex, "race" (skin colour), physical attractiveness, economic class
  • Usually visibly apparent
  • used from as young as 3y0 (davey 1983)
  • use is spontaneous
  • religion, sexual orientation, personality? ---> we are remarkably good at telling this.

Within four hours of their first childs birth

  • parents of girls rated them as softer and more finely featured than did arents of boys.
  • fathers of sons saw them as stronger, larger, more alert and better coordinated than did fathers of daughters

Where they really different?

  • No differences in height, weight or other physical aspects
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Physically Attractive People

  • seen as more intelligent and interesting
  • more likely to solicit help
  • better health care treatment
  • lower bail set in misdemeanor cases
  • receive lighter prison sentences
  • "beauty is good" more punitive towards agents of harm when the victim was physically attractive.
  • perceived as more qualified for jobs.
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Causes of the problem: how stereotypes survive

  • Illusionary correlation- overestimate links between variables
  • attributions- fundamental attribution error
  • sub-typing e,g blondes are dumb, if you meet one that isn't you think that its a special case.
  • conformation biases (behave in a way people expect you to behave) and self fulfilling prophecies
  • media effects
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Putting on the Brakes

Not wanting to stereotype can be externally of internally driven--> not wanting to appear prejudiced vs. not wanting to be prejudiced. 

Internal motivation more likely to be more successful at controlling stereotyping and prejudice. 

Post Supression Rebound---> if you invest energy into trying to not do something , you can actually end up doing it more e.g trying to sleep and not being able to sleep.

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Causes of the problem : exerting control

 Factors that make it more difficult to avoid stereotyping or prejudice.

-Age, older people less able to suppress, have held onto views for a lot longer.


-being physically or emotionally tired.

Strategies or avoiding stereotyping

-Focus on the individual

-training and practice

-priming with counter-stereotypic examples

-perspective taking of stereotyped group

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Causes of the problem: Circadian rythyms and emotional arousal

main findings: evening people give more stereotypes early in the morning

causes id the problem: Putting on the brakes: sucrose

  • given a drink of lemonade
  • 1/2 were sweetend with slpenda (control)
  • 1/2 were sweetened wtih sugar (sucrose)
  • they were show a picture of sammy (described as homosexual)

wrote "day in the life of..." 

those in sucrose condition used fewer stereotypic terms

high prejudice ppt used used fewer dereogatory comments in sucrose condition. (galliot et al 2009)

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Impact of Stereotypes and prejudice and discrimination

consequences to the perceiver

  • biased information seeking
  • biased memory
  • biased attention

consequences to the target 

  • impact of exposure
  • behaving like the stereotype
  • positive stereotyping
  • perceiving discrimination
  • stereotype threat 
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Consequences to the perceiver: Biased information Seeking

-Study: participants show preference for stereotypic consistent information .

Consequences to the perceiver: Biased Attention

The Weapons effect:

real life: shooting of unarmed blackmen by white police officers.

explanation: associate black men with violence (and weapons) so more likely to "see" danger and take "appropriate" action 

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Consequences to the perceiver: biased memory

  • Students read about an Aussie rules player
  • contained stereotype-consistent information (Gary and his mates drank several beers in the car)
  • contained some stereotypical-inconsistent information (gary switched on some classical music)
  • told to rell-tell the story to next person as accurately as possible.
  • Less stereotype-inconsistent information communicated accross participants.
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Impact of exposure

Adolescent girls who watch traditional portrayals of female roles on TV tend to believe in traditional sex stereotypes.

college women who watched a set of traditional commercials later reported lower self confidence, less independence and fewer career aspirations than did women who watched a set of non-traditional commercials

children who notice sex-stereotypic behaviours in cartoons reported traditional job expectations for self and others.

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