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appears to be an integral part of human existence. However, stereotypes and feelings
may change, albeit slowly, as the context of our feelings toward other groups changes.
For example, during and just after World War II, Americans had negative feelings
toward the Japanese. For roughly the next 40 years, the two countries were at peace and
had a harmonious relationship. This was rooted in the fact that the postwar American
occupation of Japan (1945“1951) was benign. The Americans helped the Japanese
rebuild their war-shattered factories, and the Japanese began to compete in world markets.
But in the dif¬cult economic times of the 1980s and early 1990s, many of the beliefs that
characterized Japanese-American relations during World War II reemerged, although
in somewhat modi¬ed form. Compared to how Japanese view Americans, Americans
tend to see Japanese as more competitive, hard working, prejudiced, and crafty
(see Figure 4.3). Japanese have a slight tendency to see Americans as undereducated,
lazy, and not terribly hard working. Americans see Japanese as unfair, arrogant, and
overdisciplined, as grinds who do nothing but work hard because of their conformity
to group values (Weisman, 1991). Japanese, for their part, see Americans as arrogant
Chapter 4 Prejudice and Discrimination 113




Figure 4.3 How the
Americans and Japanese
view one another. Both
Americans and Japanese
hold stereotypical views of
the other group.
Based on data from a 1992 Times/CNN
poll, cited in Holland (1992).




and lacking in racial purity, morality, and dedication (Weisman, 1991). The stereotypes
on both sides have been altered and transformed by the passage of time, but like short
skirts and wide ties, they tend to recycle. The periodicity of stereotypes suggests that
they are based more on external factors such as economics and competition than on any
stable characteristics of the group being categorized.
It is interesting to note that stereotypes and the cues used to categorize individu-
als change over time. Some historians of the ancient Mediterranean suggest that there
was a time before color prejudice. The initial encounter of black Africans and white
Mediterraneans is the oldest chapter in the chronicle of black-white relations. Snowden
(1983) traced the images of Africans as seen by Mediterraneans from the Egyptians to
Roman mercenaries. Mediterraneans knew that these black soldiers came from a pow-
erful independent African state, Nubia, located in what today would be southern Egypt
and northern Sudan. Nubians appear to have played an important role in the forma-
tion of Egyptian civilization (Wilford, 1992). Positive images of Africans appear in the
artwork and writings of ancient Mediterranean peoples (Snowden, 1983)
The ¬rst encounters between blacks and whites were encounters between equals. The
Africans were respected for their military skill and their political and cultural sophisti-
cation. Slavery existed in the ancient world but was not tied to skin color; anyone cap-
tured in war might be enslaved, whether white or black (Snowden, 1983). Prejudice,
stereotyping, and discrimination existed too. Athenians may not have cared about skin
color, but they cared deeply about national origin. Foreigners were excluded from citi-
zenship. Women were also restricted and excluded. Only males above a certain age
could be citizens and participate fully in society.
Social Psychology
114

It is not clear when color prejudice came into existence. It may have been with the
advent of the African“New World slave trade in the 16th century. Whenever it began,
it is likely that race and prejudice were not linked until some real power or status dif-
ferences arose between groups. Although slavery in the ancient world was not based
exclusively on skin color, slaves were almost always of a different ethnic group, national
origin, religion, or political unit than their owners. In the next sections, we explore the
causes of prejudice, focusing ¬rst on its roots in personality and social life and then on
its roots in human cognitive functioning.


Individual Differences and Prejudice:
Personality and Gender
What are the causes of prejudice? In addressing this question, social psychologists
have looked not only at our mental apparatus, our inclination to categorize, but also at
characteristics of the individual. Is there such a thing as prejudiced personality? Are
men or women more prone to prejudice? We explore the answers to these questions in
this section.
Social psychologists and sociologists have long suspected a relationship between
personality characteristics and prejudice. One important personality dimension relating
authoritarianism to prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination is authoritarianism. Authoritarianism is
A personality characteristic a personality characteristic that relates to unquestioned acceptance of and respect for
that relates to a person™s authority. Authoritarian individuals tend to identify closely with those in authority and
unquestioned acceptance of
also tend to be prejudiced.
and respect for authority.

The Authoritarian Personality
In the late 1940s, Adorno and other psychologists at the University of California
at Berkeley studied people who might have been the prototypes of Archie Bunker
(a character on the popular 1970s TV show All in the Family)”individuals who
wanted different ethnic groups to be suppressed and degraded, preferably by an all-
powerful government or state. Archie Bunker embodied many of the characteristics
authoritarian personality of the authoritarian personality, which is characterized by submissive feelings
A personality dimension toward authority; rigid, unchangeable beliefs; and racism and sexism (Adorno,
characterized by submissive Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson, & Sanford, 1950).
feelings toward authority, rigid
Motivated by the tragedy of the murder of millions of Jews and other Eastern
and unchangeable beliefs, and
Europeans by the Nazis, Adorno and his colleagues conducted a massive study of the
a tendency toward prejudicial
relationship between the authoritarian personality and the Nazi policy of genocide, the
attitudes.
killing of an entire race or group of people. They speculated that the individuals who
carried out the policy of mass murder were of a personality type that predisposed them
to do whatever an authority ¬gure ordered, no matter how vicious or monstrous.
The massive study produced by the Berkeley researchers, known as The Authoritarian
Personality, was driven by the notion that there was a relationship, and interconnect-
edness, between the way a person was reared and various prejudices he or she later
came to hold. The study surmised that prejudiced people were highly ethnocentric;
that is, they believed in the superiority of their own group or race (Dunbar, 1987). The
Berkeley researchers argued that individuals who were ethnocentric were likely to be
prejudiced against a whole range of ethnic, racial, and religious groups in their culture.
They found this to be true, that such people were indeed prejudiced against many or all
Chapter 4 Prejudice and Discrimination 115

groups that were different from themselves. A person who was anti-color tended to be
anti-Semitic as well. These people seemed to embody a prejudiced personality type,
the authoritarian personality.
The Berkeley researchers discovered that authoritarians had a particularly rigid and
punishing upbringing. They were raised in homes in which children were not allowed
to express any feelings or opinions except those considered correct by their parents
and other authority ¬gures. People in authority were not to be questioned and, in fact,
were to be idolized. Children handled pent-up feelings of hostility toward these sup-
pressive parents by becoming a kind of island, warding these feelings off by invent-
ing very strict categories and standards. They became impatient with uncertainty and
ambiguity and came to prefer clear-cut and simple answers. Authoritarians had very
¬rm categories: This was good; that was bad. Any groups that violated their notions of
right and wrong were rejected.
This rigid upbringing engendered frustration and a strong concealed rage, which
could be expressed only against those less powerful. These children learned that those
in authority had the power to do as they wished. If the authoritarian obtained power over
someone, the suppressed rage came out in full fury. Authoritarians were at the feet of
those in power and at the throats of those less powerful. The suppressed rage was usually
expressed against a scapegoat, a relatively powerless person or group, and tended to
occur most often during times of frustration, such as during an economic slump.
There is also evidence that parental attitudes relate to a childʼs implicit and explict
prejudice (Sinclair, Dunn, & Lowery, 2005). Sinclair et al. had parents of ¬fth and sixth
graders complete a racial attitudes measure. The children completed measures of strength
of identi¬cation with the parent and tests of implicit and explicit prejudice. The results
showed that parental prejudice was signi¬cantly related to the childʼs implicit prejudice
when the childʼs identi¬cation with the parent was high. So, it is children who have a
strong desire to identify (take on the parentʼs characteristics) with the parent who are
most likely to show implicit prejudice. A similar effect was found when the childʼs
explicit prejudice was considered. When the child identi¬ed strongly with the parent,
the parentʼs prejudice was positively associated with the childʼs explicit prejudice. This
effect was the opposite for children who did not closely identify with the parents, perhaps
indicating a rejection of parental prejudice among this latter group of children.
The authoritarian personality, the individual who is prejudiced against all groups
perceived to be different, may gravitate toward hate groups. On July 2, 1999, Benjamin
Smith went on a drive-by shooting rampage that killed two and injured several others.
Smith took his own life while being chased by police. Smith had a history of prejudi-
cial attitudes and acts. Smith came under the in¬‚uence of the philosophy of Matt Hale,
who became the leader of the World Church in 1996. Haleʼs philosophy was that the
white race was the elite race in the world and that members of any other races or ethnic
groups (which he called “inferior mud races”) were the enemy. Smith himself believed
that whites should take up arms against those inferior races. The early research on preju-
dice, then, emphasized the role of irrational emotions and thoughts that were part and
parcel of the prejudiced personality. These irrational emotions, simmered in a pot of
suppressed rage, were the stuff of prejudice, discrimination, and eventually, intergroup
violence. The violence was usually set off by frustration, particularly when resources,
such as jobs, were scarce.
Social psychologists have also looked at whether there is a prejudiced personality
(Dunbar, 1995; Gough, 1951). An updated version of the older concept of authoritarian-
ism is right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), a concept originated by Altemeyer (1981).
Social Psychology
116

Right-wing authoritarianism is related to higher levels of prejudice. Gough developed
a prejudiced scale (PR scale) using items from the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality
Inventory. Gough (1951) reported that the PR scale correlated with anti-Semitic atti-
tudes among midwestern high school students.
Dunbar (1995) administered the PR scale and two other measures of racism to
white and Asian-American students. He also administered a measure of anti-Semitism
to see if the PR scale still correlated with prejudiced attitudes. Dunbar found that Asian
Americans had higher scores on both the PR scale and the measure of anti-Semitism
than did whites, indicating greater anti-Semitism among Asians than whites. However,
the only signi¬cant relationships on the PR scale between anti-Semitic and racist atti-
tudes were among the white participants.

Social Dominance Orientation
Another personality dimension that has been associated with prejudicial attitudes is the
social dominance orientation (SDO). A social dominance orientation is de¬ned as “the
social dominance
orientation (SDO) Desire extent to which one desires that oneʼs in-group dominate or be superior to out-groups”
to have one™s in-group in a (Pratto, Sidanius, Stallworth, & Malle, 1994). In other words, individuals with a high
position of dominance or
SDO would like to see their group (e.g., racial or ethnic group) be in a dominant posi-
superiority to out-groups. High
tion over other groups.
social dominance orientation
Research also shows that oneʼs SDO also correlates with prejudicial attitudes. For
is correlated with higher levels
example, Pratto et al. (1994) found that a high SDO score was related to anti-black and
of prejudice.
anti-Arab prejudice. The higher the SDO score, the more prejudice was manifested. In
a later study SDO was found to correlate with a wide range of prejudices, including a
“generalized prejudice, and speci¬c prejudices against homosexuals, the mentally dis-
abled and with racism and sexism” (Ekehammar, Akrami, Gylje, & Zakrisson, 2004).
In an experiment (Kemmelmeier, 2005), white mock jurors were asked to judge a
criminal case in which the defendant was black or white. The results showed no differ-
ence in how the white participants judged the black or white defendant. However, par-
ticipants who scored high on a measure of social dominance showed more bias against
the black defendant than participants who scored low on the social dominance measure.
In fact, low SDO individuals showed a bias in favor of the black defendant.
Interestingly, measured differences between groups on the SDO dimension are
related to the perceived status differences between the groups being tested (Levin, 2004).
For example, Levin found that among American and Irish participants, individuals with
high SDO scores saw a greater status difference between their group and an out-group
(e.g., Irish Catholics versus Irish Protestants). In other words, an Irish Catholic person
with a high SDO score saw a greater status difference between Irish Catholics and Irish
Protestants than an Irish Catholic with a lower SDO score. A similar, but nonsigni¬cant,
trend was found for Israeli participants.
If we consider the SDO dimension along with authoritarianism, we can identify a
pattern identifying highly prejudiced individuals. In a study by Altemeyer (2004), par-
ticipants completed measures of SDO and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA). Altemeyer
found modest correlations between the SDO scale and RWA scale and prejudice when
the scales were considered separately. However, when the two scales were considered
together (i.e., identifying individuals who were high on both SDO and RWA), stron-
ger correlations were found with prejudice. Altemeyer concluded that individuals with
both SDO and RWA are among the most prejudiced people you will ¬nd. Fortunately,
Altemeyer points out, there are very few such individuals.
Chapter 4 Prejudice and Discrimination 117

There is also evidence that SDO and RWA may relate differently to different forms
of prejudice. Whitley (1999), for example, found that an SDO orientation was related
to stereotyping, negative emotion, and negative attitudes directed toward African
Americans and homosexuals. However, RWA was related to negative stereotypes and
emotion directed at homosexuals, but not African Americans. In fact, RWA was related
to positive emotions concerning African Americans.

Openness to New Experience and Agreeableness
A currently popular model of personality is the “big ¬ve” model of personality
(McCrae & Costa, 1987). According to this approach there are ¬ve dimensions under-
lying personality: extroversion/introversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroti-
cism, and openness to experience and culture. As we shall see, two of these dimensions
(agreeableness and openness to experience) relate to prejudice. Brie¬‚y, agreeableness
is a “friendliness dimension” including characteristics such as altruism, trust, and will-
ingness to give support to others (Gerow & Bordens, 2005). Openness to experience
includes curiosity, imagination, and creativity (Gerow & Bordens, 2005), along with a
willingness to try new things and divergent thinking (Flynn, 2005).
Studies investigating the relationship between the big ¬ve personality dimensions
and prejudice have shown that agreeableness and openness to experience correlate with
prejudice. For example, Ekehammar and Akrami (2003) evaluated participants on the
big ¬ve personality dimensions and measures of classic prejudice (overt, old-fashioned
prejudice) and modern prejudice (prejudice expressed in subtle ways). Ekehammar and
Akrami found that two of the big ¬ve personality dimensions correlated signi¬cantly
with prejudice: agreeableness and openness to experience. Those participants high on
the agreeableness and openness dimensions showed less prejudice. The remaining three
dimensions did not correlate signi¬cantly with prejudice.
In another study, consisting of three experiments, Flynn (2005) also explored
more fully the relationship between openness to experience and prejudice. The results
of her three experiments con¬rmed that individuals who had high scores on openness
to experience displayed less prejudice. For example, individuals who are open to new
experiences rated a black interviewee as more intelligent, responsible, and honest than
individuals who are less open to new experiences.

Gender and Prejudice
Another characteristic relating to prejudice is gender. Research shows that men tend
to be higher than women on SDO (Dambrun, Duarte, & Guimond, 2004; Pratto et al.,
1994). This gender difference appears to be rooted in different patterns of social identity
orientations among men and women. Although men and women show in-group iden-
ti¬cation at equivalent levels (i.e., men identifying with the male in-group and women
identifying with the female in-group), men more strongly identi¬ed with the male
in-group than did women with the female in-group (Dambrun et al., 2004).
Research in this area has concentrated on male and female attitudes toward homo-
sexuality. Generally, males tend to have more negative attitudes toward homosexuality
than women (Kite, 1984; Kite & Whitley, 1998). Do men and women view gay men
and lesbians differently? There is evidence that males have more negative attitudes
toward gay men than toward lesbians (Gentry, 1987; Kite, 1984; Kite & Whitley, 1998).
The ¬ndings for females are less clear. Kite and Whitley, for example, reported that
Social Psychology
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