Based on your text, explain how domestic violence is interge…

Based on your text, explain how domestic violence is interge…

Question 1:
List three stereotypes that you hold about other people or groups, and describe in detail how you formed them and how they have been reinforced?  How can we as individuals work to diminish the stereotypes we hold about other people or groups? Please base your answers on class material and our text.
Question 2
Based on your text, explain how domestic violence is intergenerational and what processes are involved in this.

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Question 3
Utilizing your text for reference and specific principles of Social Psychology, explain why you chose to complete the final examination rather than convince your instructor that you did not need to take the examination.
Based on readings from Social Psychology: If we succeeded in changing attitudes toward a specific behavior in a group of subjects, would this attitudinal change also produce behavioral change? Please explain why or why not in detail, and what (if anything) we can do to increase the chances of behavioral change.
A tenet of social psychology is how we can use our knowledge to address social issues and concerns. After all, what is the good of knowledge if we do not apply it to the world around us?  Homelessness has been in the media recently, more specifically rates of homelessness and it’s etiology. Please explain, using our text and from a social psychology standpoint, possible root causes of homelessness.
Describe what an observational research study is, and what its strengths and
weaknesses are.
Describe the relationship between social status, self-esteem, and self-presentation and how these interact.  Be sure to describe how we achieve/manipulate these concepts within ourselves and how they affect one another and our behavior.

This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without

attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.










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Chapter 12

Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination


Beating of Gay Man Leads to Hate Crime Prosecution in New Mexico

On February 27, 2005, James Maestas, a Latino gay man from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and his companion, Joshua Stockham, were leaving a restaurant when they were approached by five men who started to become violent toward them. One of the assailants, who was 19 years old at the time, stood over Maestas

and repeatedly punched him in the face and head. Maestas was taken to St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe where he was treated for a broken

nose and a concussion. Because he was kicked so hard in the abdomen, he also required the help of a respirator to breathe.

In the months that followed the attack, people gathered for a vigil to show their support for Maestas and

even donated almost $50,000 to help pay his medical bills. Maestas made a full recovery and said he had plans to begin classes at Santa Fe Community College. He hoped he could sit down one day and have a friendly talk with his attackers.

The assailants were charged with aggravated battery and conspiracy and tried under New Mexico’s hate crimes law, which added time to their sentences.

Source: LGBT Hate Crimes Project. (2010). James Maestas. Retrieved


Contemporary increases in globalization and immigration are leading to more culturally diverse populations in the United States and in many other countries. People from minority groups now account

for over one third of the U.S. population, as well as most of the growth in its labor force. Older people are working longer, women are becoming more equally represented in a wide variety of jobs, and the ethnic

mix of most occupations is also increasing (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011). [1]

These changes will create many benefits for society and for the individuals within it. Gender, cultural, and ethnic diversity can improve creativity and group performance, facilitate new ways of looking at problems,

and allow multiple viewpoints on decisions (Mannix & Neale, 2005; van Knippenberg & Schippers,

2007). [2] On the other hand, as we have seen in many places in this book, perceived similarity is an extremely important determinant of liking. Members of culturally diverse groups may be less attracted to

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each other than are members of more homogeneous groups, may have more difficulty communicating

with each other, and in some cases may actively dislike and even engage in aggressive behavior toward each other. The principles of social psychology, including the ABCs—affect, behavior, and cognition—apply to the study of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination, and social psychologists have expended substantial

research efforts studying these concepts (Figure 12.1). The cognitive component in our perceptions of

group members is thestereotype—the positive or negative beliefs that we hold about the characteristics of social groups. We may decide that “Italians are romantic,” that “old people are boring,” or that “college professors are nerds.” And we may use those beliefs to guide our actions toward people from those groups. In addition to our stereotypes, we may also develop prejudice—an unjustifiable negative attitude toward

an outgroup or toward the members of that outgroup. Prejudice can take the form of disliking, anger, fear, disgust, discomfort, and even hatred—the kind of affective states that can lead to behavior such as the gay bashing you just read about. Our stereotypes and our prejudices are problematic because they may

create discrimination—unjustified negative behaviors toward members of outgroups based on their group membership.

Although violence against members of outgroups is fortunately rare, stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination nevertheless influence people’s lives in a variety of ways. Stereotypes influence our

academic performance (Shapiro & Neuberg, 2007), [3] the careers that we chose to follow (Zhang, Schmader, Forbes, 2009), [4] our experiences at work (Fiske & Lee, 2008), [5] and the amount that we are

paid for the work that we do (Jackson, 2011; Wood & Eagly, 2010). [6] Figure 12.1
Relationships among social groups are influenced by the ABCs of social psychology.

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Stereotypes and prejudice have a pervasive and often pernicious influence on our responses to others, and

also in some cases on our own behaviors. To take one example, social psychological research has found that our stereotypes may in some cases lead to stereotype threat—performance decrements that are caused by the knowledge of cultural stereotypes. Spencer, Steele, and Quinn (1999) [7] found that when women were reminded of the (untrue) stereotype that “women are poor at math” they performed more

poorly on math tests than when they were not reminded of the stereotype, and other research has found

stereotype threat in many other domains as well. We’ll consider the role of stereotype threat in more detail later in this chapter. In one particularly disturbing line of research about the influence of prejudice on behaviors, Joshua Correll and his colleagues had White participants participate in an experiment in which they viewed

photographs of White and Black people on a computer screen. Across the experiment, the photographs showed the people holding either a gun or something harmless such as a cell phone. The participants were asked to decide as quickly as possible to press a button to “shoot” if the target held a weapon but to “not

shoot” if the person did not hold a weapon. Overall, the White participants tended to shoot more often when the person holding the object was Black than when the person holding the object was White, and

this occurred even when there was no weapon present (Correll, Park, Judd, & Wittenbrink, 2007; Correll et al., 2007). [8]

Discrimination is a major societal problem because it is so pervasive, takes so many forms, and has such negative effects on so many people. Even people who are paid to be unbiased may discriminate. Price and

Wolfers (2007) [9] found that White players in National Basketball Association games received fewer fouls when more of the referees present in the game were White, and Black players received fewer fouls when more of the referees present in the game where Black. The implication is—whether they know it or not—

the referees were discriminating on the basis of race. I’m sure that you have had some experiences where you found yourself responding to another person on

the basis of a stereotype or a prejudice, and perhaps the fact that you did surprised you. Perhaps you then tried to get past these beliefs and to react to the person more on the basis of his or her individual characteristics. We like some people and we dislike others—this is natural—but we should not let a person’s skin color, gender, age, religion, or ethnic background make these determinations for us. And

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yet, despite our best intentions, we may end up making friends only with people who are similar to us and

perhaps even avoiding people whom we see as different. In this chapter, we will study the processes by which we develop, maintain, and make use of our stereotypes and our prejudices. We will consider the negative outcomes of those beliefs on the targets of our perceptions, and we will consider ways that we might be able to change those beliefs, or at least help

us stop acting upon them. Let’s begin by considering the cognitive side of our group beliefs—focusing

primarily on stereotypes—before turning to the important role of feelings in prejudice.


[1] U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved from [2] Mannix, E., & Neale, M. A. (2005). What differences make a difference? The promise and reality of diverse

teams in organizations. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 6(2), 31–55; van Knippenberg, D., & Schippers, M. C. (2007). Work group diversity. Annual Review of Psychology, 58(1), 515–541. [3] Shapiro, J. R., & Neuberg, S. L. (2007). From stereotype threat to stereotype threats: Implications of a multi- threat framework for causes, moderators, mediators, consequences, and interventions. Personality and Social

Psychology Review, 11(2), 107–130. doi: 10.1177/1088868306294790 [4] Zhang, S., Schmader, T., & Forbes, C. (2009). The effects of gender stereotypes on women’s career choice:

Opening the glass door. In M. Barreto, M. K. Ryan, & M. T. Schmitt (Eds.), The glass ceiling in the 21st century: Understanding barriers to gender equality (pp. 125–150). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. [5] Fiske, S. T., & Lee, T. L. (2008). Stereotypes and prejudice create workplace discrimination. In A. P. Brief (Ed.), Diversity at work (pp. 13–52). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

[6] Jackson, L. M. (2011). The psychology of prejudice: From attitudes to social action. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; Wood, W., & Eagly, A. H. (2010). Gender. In S. T. Fiske, D. T. Gilbert, & G. Lindzey

(Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (5th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 629–667). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. [7] Spencer, S. J., Steele, C. M., & Quinn, D. M. (1999). Stereotype threat and women’s math performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 35, 4–28. [8] Correll, J., Park, B., Judd, C. M., & Wittenbrink, B. (2007). The influence of stereotypes on decisions to

shoot. European Journal of Social Psychology, 37(6), 1102–1117. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.450; Correll, J., Park, B., Judd, C. M., Wittenbrink, B., Sadler, M. S., & Keesee, T. (2007). Across the thin blue line: Police officers and racial bias in the

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decision to shoot.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1006–1023. doi: 10.1037/0022–

3514.92.6.1006 [9] Price, J., & Wolfers, J. (2007). Racial discrimination among NBA referees. NBER Working Paper #13206. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.


12.1 Social Categorization and Stereotyping


1. Describe the fundamental process of social categorization and its influence on thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
2. Define stereotypes and describe the ways that stereotypes are measured.
3. Review the ways that stereotypes influence our behavior.
Thinking about others in terms of their group memberships is known associal categorization—the natural
cognitive process by which we place individuals into social groups. Social categorization occurs when we think of someone as a man (versus a woman), an old person (versus a young person), a Black person
(versus an Asian or White person), and so on (Allport, 1954/1979). [1] Just as we categorize objects into different types, so we categorize people according to their social group memberships. Once we do so, we
begin to respond to those people more as members of a social group than as individuals. Imagine for a moment that two college students, John and Sarah, are talking at a table in the student
union at your college or university. At this point, we would probably not consider them to be acting as group members, but rather as two individuals. John is expressing his opinions, and Sarah is expressing
hers. Imagine, however, that as the conversation continues, Sarah brings up an assignment that she is
completing for her women’s studies class. It turns out that John does not think there should be a women’s studies program at the college, and he tells Sarah so. He argues that if there is a women’s studies program, then there should be a men’s studies program too. Furthermore, he argues that women are getting too many breaks in job hiring and that qualified men are the targets of discrimination. Sarah feels quite the contrary—arguing that women have been the targets of sexism for many, many years and even now do not
have the same access to high-paying jobs that men do.
You can see that an interaction that began at individual level, as two individuals conversing, has now turned to the group level, in which John has begun to consider himself as a man, and Sarah has begun to
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consider herself as a woman. In short, Sarah is now arguing her points not so much for herself as she is as

a representative of one of her ingroups—namely, women—and John is acting as a representative of one of his ingroups—namely, men. Sarah feels that her positions are correct, and she believes they are true not only for her but for women in general. And the same is true of John. You can see that these social categorizations may create some potential for misperception, and perhaps even hostility. And John and

Sarah may even change their opinions about each other, forgetting that they really like each other as

individuals, because they are now responding more as group members with opposing views. Imagine now that while John and Sarah are still talking, some students from another college, each wearing the hats and jackets of that school, show up in the student union. The presence of these outsiders might change the direction of social categorization entirely, leading both John and Sarah to think of

themselves as students at their own college. And this social categorization might lead them to become more aware of the positive characteristics of their college (the excellent basketball team, lovely campus, and intelligent students) in comparison with the characteristics of the other school. Now, rather than

perceiving themselves as members of two different groups (men versus women), John and Sarah might suddenly perceive themselves as members of the same social category (students at their college).

Perhaps this example will help you see the flexibility of social categorization. We sometimes think of our relationships with others at the individual level and sometimes at the group level. And which groups we

use in social categorization can change over time and in different situations. I think you would agree that you are more likely to categorize yourself as a member of your college or university when your basketball

or football team has just won a really important game, or at your commencement day ceremony, than you would on a normal evening out with your family. In these cases, your membership as a university student is simply more salient and important than it is every day, and you are more likely to categorize yourself

Spontaneous Social Categorization

Social categorization occurs spontaneously, without much thought on our part (Crisp & Hewstone, 2007). [2] Shelley Taylor and her colleagues (Taylor, Fiske, Etcoff, & Ruderman, 1978) [3] showed their research participants a slide and tape presentation of three male and three female college students who had supposedly participated in a discussion group. During the presentation, each member of the

discussion group made a suggestion about how to advertise a college play. The statements were controlled

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so that across all the research participants, the statements made by the men and the women were of equal

length and quality. Furthermore, one half of the participants were told that when the presentation was over, they would be asked to remember which person had made which suggestion, whereas the other half of the participants were told merely to observe the interaction without attending to anything in particular. After they had viewed all the statements made by the individuals in the discussion group, the research

participants were given a memory test (this was entirely unexpected for the participants who had not been

given memory instructions). The participants were shown the list of all the statements that had been made, along with the pictures of each of the discussion group members, and were asked to indicat e who had made each of the statements. The research participants were not very good at this task, and yet when they made mistakes, these errors were very systematic.

As you can see in Table 12.1 “Name Confusions”, the mistakes were such that the statements that had actually been made by a man were more frequently wrongly attributed to another man in the group than to another woman, and the statements actually made by a woman were more frequently attributed to

other women in the group than to a man. The participants evidently categorized the speakers by their gender, leading them to make more within-gender than across-gender confusions.

Interestingly, and suggesting that categorization is occurring all the time, the instructions that the participants had been given made absolutely no difference. There was just as much categorization for

those who were not given any instructions as for those who were told to remember who said what. Other research using this technique has found that we spontaneously categorize each other on the basis of many

other group memberships, including race, academic status (student versus teacher), social roles, and other social categories (Fiske, Haslam, & Fiske, 1991; Stangor, Lynch, Duan, & Glass, 1992). [4] Table 12.1 Name Confusions

Within race errors
Between race errors


No memory

Taylor, Fiske, Etcoff, and Ruderman (1978) [5] demonstrated that people categorized others spontaneously. Even without any instructions to categorize, people nevertheless confused others by their sex.

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The conclusion is simple, if perhaps obvious: Social categorization is occurring all around us all the time.

Indeed, social categorization occurs so quickly that people may have difficulty not thinking about others in terms of their group memberships (seeFigure 12.3).
The Benefits of Social Categorization

The tendency to categorize others is normally quite useful. In some cases, we categorize because doing so

provides us with information about the characteristics of people who belong to certain social groups (Lee, Jussim, & McCauley, 1995). [6] If you found yourself lost in a city, you might look for a police officer or a taxi driver to help you find your way. In this case, social categorization would probably be useful because a police officer or a taxi driver might be particularly likely to know the layout of the city streets. Of course,

using social categories will only be informative to the extent that the stereotypes held by the individual about that category are accurate. If police officers were actually not that knowledgeable about the city layout, then using this categorization would not be informative.

It has been argued that there is a kernel of truth in most stereotypes, and this seems to be the case. There is a correlation between how group members perceive the stereotypes of their own groups and how people

from other groups perceive those same stereotypes (Judd & Park, 1993; Swim, 1994). [7] This truth may come in part from the roles that individuals play in society. For instance, the stereotypes (which are held

by many people) that women are “nurturing” and that men are “dominant” may occur in part because, on average, men and women find themselves in different social roles within a culture (Eagly & Steffen,

1984). [8] In most cultures, men are more likely to be in higher-status occupations, such as doctors and lawyers, whereas women are more likely to play the role of homemakers and child -care workers. In this sense, the stereotypes are at least partly true for many of the members of the social category, in terms of

their actual behaviors. Because men are more likely to be leaders than are women, they may well be, on average, more dominant; and because women are more likely to take care of children, they may, on

average, act in a more nurturing way than do men. On the other hand, we sometimes categorize others not because it seems to provide more information about them but because we may not have the time (or the motivation) to do anything more thorough. Using our stereotypes to size up another person might simply make our life easier (Macrae, Bodenhausen,

Milne, & Jetten, 1994). [9]According to this approach, thinking about other people in terms of their social

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category memberships is a functional way of dealing with the world—things are complicated, and we

reduce complexity by relying on our stereotypes.
The Negative Outcomes of Social Categorization
Although thinking about others in terms of their social category memberships has some potential ben efits for the person who does the categorizing, categorizing others, rather than treating them as unique

individuals with their own unique characteristics, has a wide variety of negative, and often very unfair,

outcomes for those who are categorized. One problem is that social categorization distorts our perceptions such that we tend to exaggerate the differences between people from different social groups while at the same time perceiving members of groups (and particularly outgroups) as more similar to each other than they actually are. This

overgeneralization makes it more likely that we will think about and treat all members of a group the same way. Tajfel and Wilkes (1963) [10] performed a simple experiment that provided a picture of the potential outcomes of categorization. As you can see in Figure 12.4 “Perceptual Accentuation”, the

experiment involved having research participants judge the length of six lines. In one of the experimental conditions, participants simply saw six lines, whereas in the other condition, the lines were systematically

categorized into two groups—one comprising the three shorter lines and one comprising the three longer lines.

Figure 12.4 Perceptual Accentuation

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Lines C and D were seen as the same length in the noncategorized condition, but line C was

perceived as longer than line D when the lines were categorized into two groups. From Tajfel (1970). [11] Tajfel found that the lines were perceived differently when they were categorized, such that the differences

between the groups and the similarities within the groups were emphasized. Specifically, he found that although lines C and D (which are actually the same length) were perceived as equal in length when the lines were not categorized, line D was perceived as being significantly longer than line C in the condition in which the lines were categorized. In this case, categorization into two groups—the “short lines group”

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and the “long lines group”—produced a perceptual bias such that the two groups of lines were seen as

more different than they really were. Similar effects occur when we categorize other people. We tend to see people who belong to the same social group as more similar than they actually are, and we tend to judge people from different social groups as more different than they actually are. The tendency to see members of social groups as similar

to each other is particularly strong for members of outgroups, resulting in outgroup homogeneity—the

tendency to view members of outgroups as more similar to each other than we see members of ingroups (Linville, Salovey, & Fischer, 1986; Ostrom & Sedikides, 1992; Meissner & Brigham, 2001). [12] I’m sure you’ve had this experience yourself, when you found yourself thinking or saying, “Oh, them, they’re all the same!”

Patricia Linville and Edward Jones (1980) [13] gave research participants a list of trait terms and asked them to think about either members of their own group (e.g., Blacks) or members of another group (e.g., Whites) and to place the trait terms into piles that represented different types of people in the group. The

results of these studies, as well as other studies like them, were clear: People perceive outgroups as more homogeneous than the ingroup. Just as White people used fewer piles of traits to describe Blacks than

Whites, young people used fewer piles of traits to describe elderly people than they did young people, and students used fewer piles for members of other universities than they did for members of their own

university. Outgroup homogeneity occurs in part because we don’t have as much contact with outgroup members as

we do with ingroup members, and the quality of interaction with outgroup members is often more superficial. This prevents us from really learning about the outgroup members as individuals, and as a result, we tend to be unaware of the differences among the group members. In addition to learning less

about them because we see and interact with them less, we routinely categorize outgroup members, thus making them appear more cognitively similar (Haslam, Oakes, & Turner, 1996).[14]

Once we begin to see the members of outgroups as more similar to each other than they actually are, it then becomes very easy to apply our stereotypes to the members of the groups without having to c onsider whether the characteristic is actually true of the particular individual. If men think that women are all alike, then they may also think that they all have the same characteristics—they’re all “emotional” and

“weak.” And women may have similarly simplified beliefs about men (they’re “insensitive,” “unwilling to

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commit,” etc.). The outcome is that the stereotypes become linked to the group itself in a set of mental

representations (Figure 12.5). The stereotypes are “pictures in our heads” of the social groups (Lippman, 1922). [15] These beliefs just seem right and natural, even though they are frequently distorted overgeneralizations (Hirschfeld, 1996; Yzerbyt, Schadron, Leyens, & Rocher, 1994). [16] Figure 12.5

Stereotypes are the beliefs associated with social categories. The figure shows links between the

social category of college professors and its stereotypes as a type of neural network or schema. The representation also includes one image (or exemplar) of a particular college professo r whom the

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