SCLOA - Explain the formation of stereotypes and their effect on behaviour Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in SCLOA - Explain the formation of stereotypes and their effect on behaviour Deck (11):
1

stereotype

- social perception of an individual in terms of their group membership or physical features
- generalization made about a group and then attributed to members of that group
- developed through personal (experience) and shared (conversations, media, etc) knowledge
- to some extent, they are based on individual experiences but sociocultural factors also come into play: they can be shared by large sociocultural groups as social representations
- may be either positive or negative

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theories on formation of stereotypes

- SIT theory
- stereotypes = schemas theory

3

formation of stereotypes: SIT theory

Sherman et al. (2009):
- we pay the most attention to in-group and out-group members that maximise positive distinctiveness
- our ethnocentrism (group ver of SSB) affects the way we interpret similar behaviour between in-group and out-group members
- so we register negative behaviour of in-group as due to situational factors but attribute the same behaviour in out-groups to dispositional (hence forming part of one's social stereotype)

4

formation of stereotypes: stereotypes = schemas theory

- social world is complex and provides too much info to process
- due to our limited ability to process info, we simplify our social world with stereotypes
- stereotypes explain things quickly
- stable and resistant to change
- thus allowing our behaviour to be consistent

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formation of stereotypes: stereotypes = schemas explanation

Fiske and Dyer (1985):
- developing stereotypes begins with learning basic schema elements
e.g. for formation of female stereotype, it begins with 'girls dress in pink' and 'girls play with dolls'
- more elements are added over time
e.g. 'girls can cry in public but not boys'
- strong associations between elements emerge over time to form a single schema
- after formation, it can be integrated to the point that its activation becomes unconscious/automatic

6

comparison between SIT theory and stereotypes = schemas theory

- both are based on social categorization, but schema theorists believe categorization simplifies social perception while SIT theorists believe it enriches social perception
- schema theorists think categorization has a biasing effect, but SIT theorists generally believe perceiving people as individuals rather than members of a group doesn't necessarily improve accuracy
- schema theory revolves around the concept of being stable and fixed, while SIT believes categorization is flexible and can be affected by situational factors

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effect of stereotypes on behaviour

- affects the behaviour of those who believe in the stereotype
- and those who are affected by the stereotype
- confirmation bias: once people are categorized as belonging to one group, similarities between them and other individuals in the group are exaggerated (thus stereotyping revolves around group identity)
- stereotype threat: stereotypes may be internalized by stereotyped groups, affecting their behaviour

Main studies:
Confirmation bias: Cohen (1981)
Stereotype threat: Bargh et al. (1996)

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Cohen (1981) - Process

1. showed participants a videotape showing a woman having dinner with her husband
2. 2 conditions:
- waitress (participants were told she was a barmaid)
- librarian (participants were told she was a librarian)
3. After the videotape, participants were asked to recall what they remembered about her

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Cohen (1981) - Findings and Conclusion

- Librarian condition: remembers that she wore glasses and was listening to classical music.
- Waitress condition: remembers she drank alcohol
- we are more likely to notice and remember info consistent w/ our stereotypes

10

Bargh et al. (1996) - Process

1. Elderly participants were asked to form a grammatically correct sentence using (what they believed to be) random words
2. 2 conditions:
- Test: words related to and intending to activate the elderly stereotype (e.g. grey, retired, wise)
- Control: given words were unrelated to the elderly stereotype (e.g. thirsty, clean, private).
3. After completing the experimental tasks, participants were directed towards the elevator.

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Bargh et al. (1996) - Findings and Conclusion

- participants under test conditions activated walked significantly more slowly towards the elevator
- the words activated a stereotype of how elderly people behave
- this had affected the speed the elderly people walked

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