Make your own free website on

Social Psychology by David G. Myers 8th Edition
Prejudice: Disliking Others
What is Prejudice?
Prejudice is an attitude (combines affect, behaviors, and cognitions)
Prejudice: a negative prejudgment of a group and its individual members
Stereotype: a belief about the personal attributes of a group of people; often overgeneralized, inaccurate, & resistant to change
Discrimination: unjustifiable negative behavior toward a group or its members
Racial Prejudice
Racism: (1) an individual’s prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behavior toward people of a given race, or (2) institutional practices that subordinate people of a give race
Is it disappearing?
Modern Racism: a more subtle & hypocritical type, hidden behind PC statements
Combines denial of discrimination with antagonism toward efforts to promote equality (“They are getting too pushy.”)
Shows up in behavior (research – car sales, resumes)
Automatic Prejudice
Racial Prejudice, cont.
Four principles of modern racism (McConahay)
Blacks now have the freedom to compete in the marketplace. Discrimination is a thing of the past.
Blacks push too hard, too fast, and into places where are really not wanted.
Both the demands & tactics that blacks use are unfair.
Our social institutions are giving blacks more attention & status than they deserve.

Racial ambivalence and core value conflict
Humanitarianism-egalitarianism (HE) value: includes equality, justice, and concern for others’ well-being
Protestant ethic (PE) value: devotion to work, individual achievement, everyone can get ahead with hard work

Gender Stereotypes
Gender norms describe how we should be, but gender stereotypes describe (correctly or incorrectly) how we are.
Research shows: (1) strong gender stereotypes exist, and (2) these stereotypes are accepted by members of the stereotyped group.
Many gender stereotypes are fairly accurate.
Gender Prejudice
Is it disappearing?
From 1937-2003 the number of Americans who would vote for a woman President went from 33% to 87%.
From 1967-2002 the number of college freshmen who agree a woman’s place is in the home went from 56% to 22%.
Persisting attitudes:
Completely negative attitudes toward women are rare, not like racial attitudes, because most people have favorable stereotypes about women.
But gender attitudes are often ambivalent, a mix of benevolent sexism and hostile sexism.
“Ambivalent sexists” tend to put women into 2 groups.
Social Sources of Prejudice
Social inequalities
Unequal status breeds prejudice (dominant group always despises subordinate group)
We tend to respect (but not like) competent high status people, but we tend to like (but not respect) low status people who stay in their place.
Social dominance orientation - tendency to view people in terms of status on social hierarchy, also desire to be on top. People high in this trait tend to (1) be prejudiced, and (2) favor political policies that maintain the hierarchy (tax cuts for the rich, abolish aff. action).

Social Sources of Prejudice, cont.
Authoritarian personality
Intolerance for weakness, punitive attitude, submissive respect for own group’s authority
Origins often in harsh childhood discipline.
Reflected in ethnocentrism and prejudice toward many groups
“double highs” are the most prejudiced (authoritarian personality & social dominance orientation)
Social Sources of Prejudice, cont.
Religion and prejudice
North American Christians express more racial prejudice than non-Christians, and fundamentalist or traditional Christians are the most prejudiced.
BUT, faithful church-goers & those with an intrinsic religious orientation are less prejudiced than others.
Institutional Supports

Motivational Sources of Prejudice
Frustration and aggression
The scapegoat theory
The realistic group conflict theory
Social identity theory: Feeling superior to others
Ingroup bias (tendency to favor one’s own group)
Need for status, self-regard, and belonging
Motivation to avoid prejudice

Cognitive Sources of Prejudice
Categorization: a natural cognitive process to simplify and understand our world
Race & gender common categories
Perceived similarities and differences (us & them); outgroup homogeneity effect (“they” are all alike)
Distinctiveness: Perceiving people who stand out
Distinctive people
Vivid cases
Distinctive events

Cognitive Sources of Prejudice
Attribution: Is it a just world?
Group-serving bias: “Our” group is given the benefit of the doubt, but “they” are viewed more suspiciously. Application of a self-serving bias and the fundamental attribution error.
The just-world phenomenon: If the world is fair, then people get what they deserve. Thus, if someone is mistreated, he/she must have deserved it.

The Consequences of Prejudice
Cognitive consequences of stereotypes
Are stereotypes self-perpetuating?
Discrimination’s impact: The self0fulfilling prophecy
Stereotype threat
Do stereotypes bias judgments of individuals?