Personality development and social relations

Stereotype 
To generalize A belief about the personal attributes of a group of people Overgeneralized, inaccurate and resistant to new information

Prejudice 
A negative prejudgment of a group and its individual members Biases us against a person based on the person’s perceived group An attitude (Affect, Behavior tendency, Cognition)

Prejudiced attitudes need not breed hostile acts, nor does all oppression spring from prejudice.

discrimination • Negative behavior toward a group or its members

racism • Individual’s prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behavior toward people of a given race • Institutional practices that subordinate people of a given race

sexism • Individual’s prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behavior toward people of a given sex • Institutional practices that subordinate people of a given sex

Even when there is no prejudicial intent

Sources of prejudice 
Social sources Emotional sources Cognitive sources

Social sources 
Social conditions that breed prejudice

Social inequalities

• Unequal status (example, rich vs poor) • Religion • Stereotype threat: self-confirming apprehension that one will be evaluated based on a negative stereotype

Social identity
Conformity Institutional supports

• The “we” aspect of self-concept • Ingroup bias: tendency to favor one’s own group (ingroup vs outgroup, we vs them)

• A change of behavior or belief as a result of real or imagined group pressure

• Often go unnoticed, not deliberate attempts to oppress a group (example, shampoo commercials always feature long-haired women) • Reflect cultural assumptions

Emotional sources 
Effects of emotions and personality factors on prejudice

Frustration and aggression

• Scapegoat theory: displaced aggression (one person from the group is always blamed, or is the “scapegoat”) • Realistic group conflict theory: prejudice arises from competition between groups for scarce resources (example, competition for Best Feasib study)

Personality dynamics/Socialization

• Need for status • Ethnocentrism: belief in the superiority of one’s own ethnic and cultural group, and a corresponding disdain for all other groups • Authoritarian personality: as children, they often faced harsh discipline supposedly leading them to repress hostilities and project them to outgroups

Cognitive sources 
How we think influence stereotypes


• Simplifies our environment • Perceived similarities and differences • Example, All men are polygamous


• Distinctive people: when you are alone in the midst of people, you become more noticeable and object of more attention • Distinctive cases: because of lack of information, we base our judgment on what we superficially know • Illusory correlations: false impression that two variables correlate Example, All elderly people walk slow: age vs speed


• Group-serving bias: explaining away outgroup members’ positive behaviors, attributing negative behaviors to their dispositions • Just-world phenomenon: tendency to believe the world is just and people get what they deserve and deserve what they get

Reducing prejudice 
Seek to create cooperative, equal-status relationships Mandate nondiscrimination Pullout institutional support

Thank you! 

Myers, D. (2002). Social psychology (2nd ed.). New York:McGrawHill.

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