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Session 9

Psychology and Sociology - 1

Psychology and Sociology – Prejudice and discrimination

 Prejudice is an unfavourable attitude towards a social group and its
 Discrimination is the behavioural expression of prejudice.
 Stereotype is a widely shared and simplified evaluative image of a social
group and its members.
 Stigma is the group attribute that leads to a negative evaluation.
 Stereotype threat is the feeling that we will be judged and treated
according to the stereotypes of our group, and that we will confirm these
stereotypes through our behaviour.

Prejudice and discrimination: what is it?
 Experiment: Prejudice cannot predict discrimination (behaviour) easily.
 Stigma is influenced by 2 main characteristics
o Visibility
 When stigma is visible, people cannot hide it.
 When stigma is visible, people can hide it and escape from
situations in which they would have been discriminated
o Controllability
 Controllable stigmas are harsher judged by normal people
because they think those people are responsible for their
“decision” or “mentally not strong enough.”
o Why do Stigmas persist?
 Stigmas lead to a decrease in the value of this group. Other
people will use the stigmatised group as a downward
comparison and feel superior
Targets of prejudice and stereotype
 Only people with a high prejudice associate their knowledge about
stereotypes as their stereotype-consistent personal belief about the
target group.
 Sex stereotype
o Research shows (common among many cultures)
 Men are competent and independent than women
Session 9
Psychology and Sociology - 2

 It is not true that men are more competent than

 Women are warm and expressive
 There is a gender wage gap in many countries

 Clinton vs. Trump

o Women in power don’t fit the stereotype  perceived negatively
 Need to find right balance between showing competence
and warmth. Just by being a woman, Clinton was greatly
disadvantaged against Trump.
o Men with warmth don’t fit the stereotype  perceived negatively
 Racism
o Responsible for many conflicts and war
o Racism is illegal  less common
o Racism hasn’t disappeared but is now expressed differently and in
more subtle ways.
 Experiment: Insult + Electro Shocks = Participants have an
excuse why they electroshocked longer
 When people can justify their racism behaviour, they will be
more likely to do that certain behaviour.
 Ageism
o Poor performance (wrong)
 Older workers have a lower ability, are less motivated, and
are less productive than younger workers.
o Resistance to change (unknown)
 Older workers are harder to train, less adaptable, less
flexible, and more resistant to change.
o Lower ability to learn (unknown)
Session 9
Psychology and Sociology - 3

 Older workers will have a lower ability to learn and

therefore have less potential for development
o Less committed (true)
 Younger employees are less stable, less honest, less
trustworthy, less committed to their job, and more likely to
miss work or turnover quickly.
 Homosexuals and policies
o Good Organisational policies & practices against discrimination of
homosexuals lead to a lower level of discrimination
o As managers, we have to create policies, e.g. punishment if
someone discriminates
Consequences of prejudice
 Self-esteem
o Stigmatised groups are devalued by society  sends them
negative images of themselves  lowers their self-esteem and
 Stereotype threat (3 stages)
o Stigmatised individuals are aware that other judge
o They worry that through their behaviour they may confirm the
o They perform according to the stereotype
o Experiment: People will perform worse when their stereotype has
been judged negatively in comparison to another group, e.g.
women and men in negotiation.
Explanation of prejudice
 Transmission from parents
o Not born but learnt
o After WW2, British parents educated their children against
Germans and Italians
o Can occur through
 Parental modelling (“Observing parents’ behaviour in all-
 Instrumental conditioning (“You shouldn’t play with German
 Classical conditioning (“Stress with parents because children
played with children from other nationalities”)
Session 9
Psychology and Sociology - 4

 Frustration-Aggression-Model (Hypothesis)
o Aggression is always caused by some kind of frustrating event or
situation. Frustration leads to aggression.
o Limitations
 Model has not been supported by many
 Aggression can occur without frustration
 Frustration does not always result in aggression.
o Examples: Terrorism

Improving intergroup relations

 Education
o Has to be consistent throughout channels
o Prejudice based on ignorance. Education that promotes tolerance
and diversity may reduce intolerance.
o Putting children into the situation of being prejudice victims to
raise awareness.
 Intergroup Contact
o Negative attitudes are maintained by lack of access of information
regarding this group
o Contact hypothesis: Bringing both parties together, improves
intergroup relations and reduce prejudice and discrimination. Even
more when…
Session 9
Psychology and Sociology - 5

 support of local authorities

 cooperation norms
 groups have equal status
 shared goals
 Internet
o Case Iranians: we will never bomb your country: We Love U!
 Subordinate Goals
o Subordinate Goals (common goals) lead to increase in
collaboration and an improvement in the attitude regarding the
other group.
o More positive attitude (when goal is achieved, failure can be
o More negative attitude (when failure cannot be explained)