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Stereotype s. L earning outcome. Explain the formation of stereotypes and their effect on behavior. To what extent do you use stereotypes?. For each of the following people identify their occupations sexual orientation ethnicity. Occupation: SURFER Sexual Orientation: HETEROSEXUAL

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l earning outcome
Learning outcome
  • Explain the formation of stereotypes and their effect on behavior
to what extent do you use stereotypes

To what extent do you use stereotypes?

  • For each of the following people identify their
  • occupations
  • sexual orientation
  • ethnicity

Occupation: SURFER

Sexual Orientation: HETEROSEXUAL



Occupation: Actress

Sexual Orientation: Homosexual

Race: Caucasian


Occupation – businessman

Sexual orientation – NG (so take a guess….)

Race: Caucasian (Australian)


Occupation: model

Race: African American

Sexual Orientation: heterosexual


Occupation: hairdresser – turned – actress.

Sexual orientation: homosexual

Race: Lebanese


Occupation – soccer player

Sexual orientation – Homosexual

Race – Spanish.

what is a stereotype
What is a stereotype ?
  • Mental representations of particular shared beliefs about the characteristics (personality traits and characteristics) of a group and its members
  • They reflect fairly precise categories of social or cultural knowledge.

Is the process of stereotyping simply a natural cognitive process of social categorization?

  • Maybe but how does it actually happen?
these shared beliefs ideas
These shared beliefs/ ideas ……
  • Different cultures may have different beliefs
  • Studies by Katz and Braly (1933) and Karlins et al (1969) show that stereotypical ideas are slow to change.

Stereotypes may be based on a ‘grain of truth’ , Campbell (1967)- there is some basis in reality ex one experience with a member of a group is generalized to the whole group.

  • Think about errors in attribution.
  • So Campbell proposes there are two sources of stereotypes

- personal experience with individuals

- ‘gatekeepers’- media, parents etc of a culture

illusory correlation
Illusory correlation….
  • Another view is that stereotypes are an illusion- people see a correlation between two variables even when there is non Hamilton and Gifford (1976)
  • Can you think of an example?
  • Women and math????
confirmation bias
Confirmation bias
  • People then to seek out or remember information that supports the illusionary relationship.
  • Look at Snyder and Swann (1978) – Crane 109
effects of stereotyping
Effects of Stereotyping
  • Untrue and unfair prejudgment and allocation of characteristics to individuals
  • Confirmatory bias
  • Exaggeration of perceived similarities within groups and differences between groups
  • Justification of discriminatory behavior towards stereotyped groups, based on the assessment of their supposed characteristics

Jane Elliot’s Study

Method: Experimental/Observational

Design: Repeated Measure

Variables: Independent- Color of eyes (blue or brown) Dependent- Feeling “inferior” or “superior”

summary of video 1 st day
Summary of Video (1st day)

1st day blue eyes were the superior ones  they were given special privileges, and were encouraged to discriminate against the inferior brown eyed children

During recess, a blue-eyed child called a brown-eyed a “brown-eyed” and they fought. A discriminatory act.


Academic performances increased for the blue-eyed, while the brown eyed decreased

On the 2nd day the roles were reversed.

Jane Elliot told them that the statement she said the previous day was untrue.

The blue-eyed children quickly took the oppressing role and vise-versa

Similar effect happened

effects of the blue brown eyed stereotype
Effects of the blue/brown eyed stereotype
  • Whoever was “superior”, their academic level had increased to a higher level e.g. reading level.


Academic level was far beyond what would normally be expected for 3rd graders

Far beyond where they had performed just one week prior to the experiment


  • Far below what would ordinarily be expected for 3rd graders
  • Far below the level of performance that they had just one week prior to the experiment


behaved more maturely towards teacher and amongst their “blue-eyed” group

strong enthusiasm for learning

better posture, grooming and attitude

yet aggressive towards the “inferior”


 Suffered serious blows to self-image

barely liked themselves, low self-esteem

displayed self-disparaging attitudes

cried and sulked

many behaved sullen and disrespectful manner

none revealed interest in learning or socializing with their classmates

effect of stereotypes on individual s performance
Effect of stereotypes on individual's performance
  • Read Crane 108 and 109
  • Draw conclusions regarding how stereotyping may affect an individual’s performance.
  • Clearly outline the studies of Steele (1997); Steele and Aronson (1995); Spencer et al (1977) and Herrnstein (1994)
some questions
Some questions
  • What do you think are the main reasons behind humans use of stereotypes?
  • What are stereotypes based on?
  • What negative effects can stereotyping have on an individual?
  • Present one example that shows how a stereotype may be the result of an illusory correlation.
  • What other forms of processes could be considered an illusory correlation?
  • What can be concluded from Hamilton and Gifford’s study of illusionary correlation?
  • What have is explained in Synder & Swann’s experiment on confirmation bias?