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race, gender, nationality, and other obvious features. Of course, categorization is adap-
tive in the sense that it allows us to direct similar behaviors toward an entire class of
objects or people. We do not have to choose a new response each time we encounter a
categorized object.
Categorization is not necessarily the same as prejudice, although the first
process powerfully in¬‚uences the second. We sometimes take our predisposition to
categorize too far, developing rigid and overgeneralized images of groups. This rigid
categorization”this rigid set of positive or negative beliefs about the characteristics
stereotype A set of beliefs,
or attributes of a group”is a stereotype (Judd & Park, 1993; Stangor & Lange, 1994).
positive or negative, about the
For example, we may believe that all lawyers are smart, a positive stereotype; or we
characteristics or attributes of
may believe that all lawyers are devious, a negative stereotype. Many years ago, the
a group, resulting in rigid and
political journalist Walter Lippmann (1922) aptly called stereotypes “pictures in our overgeneralized images of
heads.” When we encounter someone new who has a clear membership in one or members of that group.
another group, we reach back into our memory banks of stereotypes, ¬nd the appropriate
picture, and ¬t the person to it.
In general, stereotyping is simply part of the way we do business cognitively every
day. It is part of our cognitive “toolbox” (Gilbert & Hixon, 1991). We all have made
judgments about individuals (Boy Scout leader, police of¬cer, college student, feminist)
based solely on their group membership. Stereotyping is a time saver; we look in our
toolbox, ¬nd the appropriate utensil, and characterize the college student. It certainly
takes less time and energy than trying to get to know that person (individuation; Macrae,
Milne, & Bodenhausen, 1994). Again, this is an example of the cognitive miser at work.
Of course, this means we will make some very unfair, even destructive judgments of
individuals. All of us recoil at the idea that we are being judged solely on the basis of
some notion that the evaluator has of group membership.
Social Psychology
108


The Content of Stereotypes
What exactly constitutes a stereotype? Are all stereotypes essentially the same? What kinds
of emotions do different stereotypes elicit? The answers to these questions can inform us
on the very nature of stereotypes. Regardless of the actual beliefs and information that
underlie a stereotype, there appear to be two dimensions underlying stereotypes: warmth
(liking or disliking) and competence (respect or disrespect) (Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, & Xu,
2002). According to Fiske et al., these two dimensions combine to de¬ne different types
of stereotypes. For example, high warmth and high competence yield a positive stereotype
involving admiration and pride. Low warmth and low competence results in a negative
stereotype involving resentment and anger. Finally, there can be mixed stereotypes involv-
ing high competence and low warmth or low competence and high warmth.

Explicit and Implicit Stereotypes
Stereotypes, like prejudicial attitudes, exist on the explicit and implicit level. Explicit ste-
reotypes are those of which we are consciously aware, and they are under the in¬‚uence
of controlled processing. Implicit stereotypes operate on an unconscious level and are
activated automatically when a member of a minority group is encountered in the right
situation. The operation of implicit stereotypes was demonstrated in an interesting experi-
ment conducted by Banaji, Harden, and Rothman (1993). Participants ¬rst performed a
“priming task,” which involved unscrambling sentences indicating either a male stereotype
(aggressiveness), a female stereotype (dependence), or neutral sentences (neutral prime).
Later, in a supposedly unrelated experiment, participants read a story depicting either a
dependent (male or female) or an aggressive (male or female) target person. Participants
then rated the target person in the story for the stereotypic or nonstereotypic trait.
The results of this experiment are shown in Figure 4.1. Notice that for both the
male and female stereotypic traits, the trait was rated the same when the prime was
neutral, regardless of the gender of the target. However, when the prime activated an
implicit gender stereotype, the female stereotypic trait (dependence) was rated higher
for female targets than for male targets. The opposite was true for the male stereotypic
trait (aggressiveness). Here, aggressiveness was rated higher for male targets than for
female targets. An incidental encounter with a stereotype (in this experiment, the prime)
can affect evaluations of an individual who is a member of a given social category
(e.g., male or female). Participants judged a stereotypic trait more extremely when the
stereotype had been activated with a prime than when it had not. Thus, stereotyped
information can in¬‚uence how we judge members of a social group even if we are not
consciously aware that it is happening (Banaji et al., 1993).
Explicit and implicit stereotypes operate on two separate levels (controlled process-
ing or automatic processing) and affect judgments differently, depending on the type
of judgment a person is required to make (Dovidio, Kawakami, Johnson, Johnson, &
Howard, 1997). Dovidio and colleagues found that when a judgmental task required some
cognitive effort (in this experiment, to determine whether a black defendant was guilty
or not guilty of a crime), explicit racial attitudes correlated with judgments. However,
implicit racial attitudes were not correlated with the outcome on the guilt-judgment
task. Conversely, on a task requiring a more spontaneous, automatic response (in this
experiment, a word-completion task on which an ambiguous incomplete word could be
completed in a couple of ways”e.g., b_d could be completed as bad or bed), implicit
attitudes correlated highly with outcome judgments. Thus, explicit and implicit racial
attitudes relate to different tasks. Explicit attitudes related more closely to the guilt-
innocence task, which required controlled processing. Implicit attitudes related more
closely to the word-completion task, which was mediated by automatic processing.
Chapter 4 Prejudice and Discrimination 109




Figure 4.1 Results from
an experiment on implicit
stereotypes. When a
prime activates an implicit
female gender stereotype,
a female stereotypic trait
(dependence) was rated
higher for female than for
male targets. The opposite
was true for the implicit
male stereotypic trait
(aggressiveness).
Based on data from Banaji, Harden, and
Rothman (1993).




Can implicit stereotypes translate into overt differences in behavior directed at
blacks and whites? In one experiment, Correll, Park, Judd, and Wittenbrink (2002) had
college students play a simple video game. The task was for participants to shoot only
armed suspects in the game. The race of the target varied between black and white,
some of whom were armed and some unarmed. The results of their ¬rst experiment,
shown in Figure 4.2, showed that white participants shot at a black armed target more
quickly than a white armed target. They also decided NOT to shoot at an unarmed target
more quickly if the target was white as compared to black. Correll et al. also provided
evidence that the observed “shooter bias” was more related to an individual adhering
to cultural biases about blacks as violent and dangerous rather than personally held
prejudice or stereotypes.
The automatic activation of stereotypes has been characterized as being a normal part
of our cognitive toolboxes that improves the ef¬ciency of our cognitive lives (Sherman,
2001). However, as we have seen, this increased ef¬ciency isnʼt always a good thing. Can
this predisposition toward automatic activation of stereotypes be countered? Fortunately,
the answer is yes. Automatic stereotypes can be inhibited under a variety of conditions
(Sassenberg & Moskowitz, 2005), including thinking of a counter-stereotypic image
or if stereotype activation is perceived to threaten oneʼs self-esteem. Sassenberg and
Moskowitz suggest that it is possible to train a person to inhibit automatic activation
of stereotypes on a general level so that a wide variety of automatic stereotypes can be
inhibited, not just speci¬c ones.
Sassenberg and Moskowitz (2005) investigated the impact of inducing partici-
pants to “think different” when it comes to members of minority groups. Thinking
different means “one has a mindset in which one is avoiding the typical associations
with those groups”oneʼs stereotypes” (p. 507). In their ¬rst experiment, Sassenberg
and Moskowitz had participants adopt one of two mindsets. The ¬rst mindset was a
“creative mindset” in which participants were told to think of two or three times that
they were creative. The second mindset was a “thoughtful mindset” in which par-
ticipants were told to think of two or three times they behaved in a thoughtful way.
Social Psychology
110




Figure 4.2 Reaction
times to shoot armed or
unarmed black or white
suspects.
Based on data from Correll, Park, Judd, and
Wittenbrink (2002).




After doing this, all participants completed a stereotype activation task. Sassenberg
and Moskowitz found that stereotypes were inhibited when the “creative mindset”
was activated, but not when the “thoughtful mindset” was activated. By encouraging
participants to think creatively, the researchers were able to inhibit the activation of
automatic stereotypes about African Americans. Sassenberg and Moskowitz suggest
that encouraging people to “think differently” can help them inhibit a wide range of
automatically activated stereotypes.
The “shooter bias” just discussed also can be modi¬ed with some work (Plant &
Peruche, 2005). Plant and Peruche found that police of¬cers showed the shooter bias
during early trials with a computer game that presented armed or unarmed black or white
suspects. However, after a number of trials, the bias was reduced. The average number
of errors of shooting at an unarmed suspect was different for blacks and whites during
early trials, but not during late trials. During the early trials the of¬cers were more likely
to shoot at an unarmed black suspect than an unarmed white suspect. During the later
trials the rate of error was equivalent for the unarmed black and white suspects. Thus,
police of¬cers were able to modify their behavior in a way that signi¬cantly reduced
the shooter bias.
Finally, two interesting questions center on when implicit stereotypes develop and
when they become distinct from explicit stereotypes. One study sheds light on these
two questions. Baron and Banaji (2005) conducted an experiment with 6-year-olds, 10-
year-olds, and adults. Using a modi¬ed version of the Implict Attitudes Test (IAT) for
children, Baron and Banaji found evidence for anti-black implicit attitudes even among
the 6-year-olds. Interestingly, the 6-year-olds also showed correspondingly high levels
of explicit prejudice. However, whereas the 10-year-olds and adults showed evidence
of implicit prejudice, they showed less explicit prejudice. Evidently, by the time a child
is 10 years old, he or she has learned that it is not socially acceptable to express stereo-
types and prejudice overtly. But, the implicit stereotypes and prejudice are there and
are expressed in subtle ways.
Chapter 4 Prejudice and Discrimination 111


Stereotypes as Judgmental Heuristics
Another way that implicit stereotypes manifest themselves is by acting as judgmental
heuristics (Bodenhauser & Wyer, 1985). For example, if a person commits a crime that
is stereotype consistent (compared to one that is not stereotype consistent), observers
assign a higher penalty, recall fewer facts about the case, and use stereotype-based infor-
mation to make a judgment (Bodenhauser & Wyer, 1985). Generally, when a negative
behavior is stereotype consistent, observers attribute the negative behavior to internal,
stable characteristics. Consequently, the crime or behavior is seen as an enduring char-
acter ¬‚aw likely to lead to the behavior again.
This effect of using stereotype-consistent information to make judgments is espe-
cially likely to occur when we are faced with a dif¬cult cognitive task. Recall from
Chapter 3 that many of us are cognitive misers, and we look for the path of least resis-
tance when using information to make a decision. When faced with a situation in which
we have both stereotype-consistent and stereotype-inconsistent information about a
person, more stereotype-consistent information than inconsistent information is likely
to be recalled (Macrae, Hewstone, & Grif¬ths, 1993). As Macrae and colleagues sug-
gested, “when the information-processing gets tough, stereotypes (as heuristic struc-
tures) get going” (p. 79).
There are also individual differences in the extent to which stereotypes are formed
and used. Levy, Stroessner, and Dweck (1998) suggested that individuals use implicit
theories to make judgments about others. That is, individuals use their past experience
to form a theory about what members of other groups are like. According to Levy and
colleagues, there are two types of implicit theories: entity theories and incremental
theories. Entity theorists adhere to the idea that another personʼs traits are ¬xed and
will not vary according to the situation. Incremental theorists do not see traits as ¬xed.
Rather, they see them as having the ability to change over time and situations (Levy et
al., 1998). A central question addressed by Levy and colleagues was whether entity and
incremental theorists would differ in their predisposition to form and use stereotypes.
Based on the results of ¬ve experiments, Levy and colleagues concluded that compared
to incremental theorists, entity theorists:
• Were more likely to use stereotypes.
• Were more likely to agree strongly with stereotypes.
• Were more likely to see stereotypes as representing inborn, inherent group
differences.
• Tended to make more extreme judgments based on little information about the
characteristics of members of a stereotyped group.
• Perceived a stereotyped group as having less intramember diversity.
• Were more likely to form stereotypes.
In addition to the cognitive functions of stereotypes, there is also an emotional com-
ponent (Jussim, Nelson, Manis, & Sof¬n, 1995). According to Jussim and colleagues,
once you stereotype a person, you attach a label to that person that is used to evaluate
and judge members of that personʼs group. Typically, a label attached to a stereotyped
group is negative. This negative label generates negative affect and mediates judgments
of members of the stereotyped group. Jussim and colleagues pointed out that this emo-
tional component of a stereotype is more important in judging others than is the cogni-
tive function (information storage and categorization) of the stereotype.
Social Psychology
112


Discrimination
discrimination Overt Discrimination is the behavioral component accompanying prejudice. Discrimination
behavior”often negatively occurs when members of a particular group are subjected to behaviors that are differ-
directed toward a particular ent from the behaviors directed at other groups. For example, if members of a certain
group and often tied to
racial group are denied housing in a neighborhood open to other groups, that group is
prejudicial attitudes”which
being discriminated against. Discrimination takes many forms. For example, it was not
involves behaving in different
uncommon in the 19th through mid-20th centuries to see job advertisements that said
ways toward members of
different groups. “Irish need not apply” or “Jews need not apply.” It was also fairly common practice to
restrict access to public places, such as beaches, for Jews and blacks. And in the U.S.
South, there were separate bathroom facilities, drinking fountains, and schools, and
minorities were denied service at certain businesses. This separation of people based
on racial, ethnic, religious, or gender groups is discrimination.
It is important to point out that discrimination often is a product of prejudice.
Negative attitudes and assumptions about people based on their group af¬liation have
historically been at the root of prejudice. So, it is clear that many instances of discrimi-
nation can be traced directly to underlying prejudicial attitudes. However, discrimi-
nation can occur even in the absence of underlying prejudice. For example, imagine
an owner of a small company who lives in a town where there are no minorities. This
person hires all white employees. Now, the owner might be the most liberal-minded
person in the world who would never discriminate based on race. However, his actions
would technically be classi¬ed as discrimination. In this case the discrimination is not
based on any underlying prejudice. Rather, it is based on the demographics of the area
in which the company exists.


The Persistence and Recurrence of Prejudice
and Stereotypes
Throughout history, members of majority groups (those in power) have held stereotypi-
cal images of members of minority groups (those not in power). These images supported
prejudicial feelings, discriminatory behavior, and even wide-scale violence directed
against minority-group members.
History teaches us that stereotypes and prejudicial attitudes are quite enduring. For
example, some stereotypes of Jews and Africans are hundreds of years old. Prejudice

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