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Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Social Perception

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Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Social Perception

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Stereotyping, Prejudice,

and Social Perception

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Michael Evans

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Eyewitness Testimony

  • Mistaken identification

    • Largest single cause of false conviction

    • Accounts for more criminal convictions of innocent people than all other causes combined

    • In lineups, witnesses pick “filler” suspects approximately 33% of the time

    • Of 235 cases exonerated by DNA, 77% were convicted, in part, on the basis of faulty eyewitness testimony

    • Average time between arrest and exoneration = 12 years

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Race Affects Recognition Accuracy

  • Cross Race Recognition Deficit or Own-Race Effect

    • 1.56 times more likely mistaken ID

    • 1.4 times more likely correct ID for same race

      • Kindergarteners

      • 3rd graders

      • Adults

      • Cross-culturally

    • Of the cases of the exonerated involving eyewitness testimony, 40% involved cross-race recognition

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Cross-Race Recognition Deficit

  • Contact/Familiarity

    • Lack of expertise as to the features that actually distinguish outgroup members from one another

    • But, contact accounts for only about 2% of the variance in the CRRD

  • Feature coding asymmetry for outgroups

    • Based on motivation to individuate ingroup but not outgroup members

      • Code race-specifying features at expense of individuating features

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Motivation and Cross-Race Recognition

Pauker et al., 2009

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Racial Stereotypes and Social Cognition

  • Stereotype: A cognitive schema that contains a person’s knowledge, beliefs, and expectancies about a human group

    • Allow you to anticipate the behavior of others

    • Allow you to understand and interpret behavior

      • Especially if it is ambiguous

      • Fill in the blanks

    • Allow you to organize and structure your social experiences

    • They serve these functions even if they are objectively inaccurate

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Stereotypes and Memory

  • Outgroup recognition is particularly poor when targets are paired with stereotypic behaviors

  • For example, Black targets are particularly likely to be misidentified as the authors of hostile or criminal behavior versus kind or pro-social behavior

  • People use the stereotype to reconstruct who must have engaged in the behavior

Sherman et al., 1998, 2000

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Stereotyping and Attention

  • Black faces draw and hold attention of White observers

    • Particularly to the extent that perceivers associate Blacks with danger

    • Just like spiders, snakes, angry faces

    • Even when faces are presented too quickly to be noticed

Donders et al., 2008

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Stereotyping and Attention

  • Surreptitiously activating thoughts of crime enhances this effect

    • Study conducted with police officers

  • However, greater attention was associated with false recognition of faces that were more stereotypically “Black” than the ones that actually appeared

    • Thoughts of crime drew attention to Black faces, but distorted the memories of those faces to be stereotypical

    • More attention does not necessarily mean better memory if the attention is biased by stereotypic expectancies

    • May contribute to cross-race errors in eyewitness identification

Eberhardt et al., 2005

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Stereotypes and Construal

  • Stereotypes affect basic aspects of face perception

  • Black men seem to anger more quickly and smile more slowly than white men

    • May influence encoding and subsequent memory of potential defendants

Hugenberg & Bodenhausen, 2003

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Stereotypes and Construal

“Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina”

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Stereotypes and Construal

“Looters hit a drug store in the French Quarter district of New Orleans”

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Gun Tool

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Payne, 2001

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Stereotypes and Construal

Eberhardt et al., 2005

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Potential influence on misidentification and worse

Amadou Diallo

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Correll et al., 2002

  • Subjects paid for accurate performance

False Kills per 20 Targets

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Stereotypes and Sentencing

  • Longer sentences given for stereotypic crimes

    • Assault: Latino > Caucasian

    • Embezzlement: Caucasian > Latino

    • Attributions

      • Stereotypical = intentional, likely to be repeated

      • Counter-stereotypical = special situation, not likely to be repeated

Bodenhausen & Wyer, 1985

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Stereotypes and the Death Penalty

  • More stereotypically “Black” convicts are more likely to receive the death penalty

    • But only for killing White people, not Black people

Eberhardt et al., 2006

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Prejudice Enhances all of these Effects

  • Prejudice = negative evaluations of social groups

  • Not necessarily endorsed prejudice

    • Most people won’t openly admit to prejudice

    • Sometimes we are unaware of our own subtle biases

  • Implicit measures of prejudice prevent intentional misrepresentation and reveal biases of which we may be unaware

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IAT Demo

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Left RightBlack/Bad White/Good

Rainbow Hate

Jaron Jamal

David Andrew

Love Puppy

Death Antoine

Tyrone Kill

Happiness Richard

Steven Flower

Disease Jeffrey

Luther Pain

Tayshaun Peace

Decay Chris

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Left RightBlack/Good White/Bad

Rainbow Hate

Jaron Jamal

David Andrew

Love Puppy

Death Antoine

Tyrone Kill

Happiness Richard

Steven Flower

Disease Jeffrey

Luther Pain

Tayshaun Peace

Decay Chris

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Implicit Prejudice

  • Some facts:

    • A large majority (85%) of non-Black Americans show a pro-White bias

    • About 1/3 Black Americans show pro-White, 1/3 show no bias, and 1/3 show pro-Black bias

    • Scores on the IAT and other implicit measures do not correlate with scores on explicit measures (e.g., rating scale, questionnaires)

    • Solution to “unwilling & unable” problems

    • Predict perceptual and behavioral biases better than prejudice measured with scales/questionnaires