Test Bank for Psychology of Prejudice, The, 2/E 2nd Edition Todd D. Nelson


Test Bank for Psychology of Prejudice, The, 2/E 2nd Edition Todd D. Nelson


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Chapter 2: Origin and Maintenance of Stereotypes and Prejudice
Chapter Outline
A. The formation of stereotypes
1. Categorization
2. Why we categorize
3. Types of categorization
4. In-groups and out-groups
5. Social learning
a. Childhood intergroup contact
b. Value transmission in families
c. Influence of stereotypes on cognition in children
d. Stereotypes and prejudice in the media
6. Implicit theories
7. The efficiency of stereotypes
B. How and why stereotypes are maintained
1. Selective attention to stereotype-relevant information
2. Subcategorization
3. Illusory correlations
4. Motivation
C. Origins of prejudice
1. Social identity theory
2. Optimal distinctiveness theory
3. Scapegoat theory
4. Relative deprivation
5. Realistic conflict theory
D. Summary

Chapter Summary
In this section, we have examined research and theory on the factors that contribute to the
formation of prejudice and stereotypes, and the reasons why stereotypes and prejudice persist,
even in the face of stereotype-inconsistent information. Research in social cognition has led to
great advances in our understanding of the nature of stereotyping, showing, for example, that
stereotyping is the result of the mind’s normal tendency to categorize stimuli in the environment,
and is not the product of a deviant mind, or maladjusted personality. Of course, such a
conclusion does not in any way suggest that we ought to condone the endorsement of stereotyped
beliefs. Rather, it clarifies that stereotyping is an outgrowth of the innate tendency of the human
brain to categorize the world, in order to greatly simplify the amount of information it must deal
with at any given moment.
With this perspective, researchers have been able to identify the cognitive tendencies and
processes (such as illusory correlations, subcategorization) whereby we maintain the simplified
view of the world, and we maintain the cognitive efficiency (and frequent inaccuracy) that
stereotypes afford us in our daily lives. These tendencies tend to be somewhat automatic, and as
such are difficult to control. However, because one knows of stereotypes does not imply that one
endorses them, and this is an important distinction in our understanding of the difference
between high and low prejudiced persons (and we’ll discuss this in detail in the next chapter).
We then explored the reasons why some people dislike other groups, and our discussion
focused on the motivational factors that lead to the development and maintenance of such
prejudices. Motivational theories for prejudice have tended to implicate the self, self-esteem, and
group-identity as factors that lead one to actively dislike other groups, in order to feel better
about oneself or one’s ingroups. Current researchers are focusing on motivational explanations of
prejudice, as they have the most explanatory power and theoretical promise as a tool for understanding the nature of prejudice, and we will explore this further in the final chapter, in our
discussion of future trends and unanswered questions in prejudice research.
Key Terms

Contact Hypothesis
Illusory Correlation
Implicit Theories
Ingroup Bias
Optimal Distinctiveness Theory
Outgroup Homogeneity
Minimal Groups
Realistic Conflict Theory
Relative Deprivation Theory
Scapegoat Theory
Social Identity Theory
Superordinate Goal
Additional Readings
Devine, P. G. (1989). Stereotypes and prejudice: Their automatic and controlled components.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 5-18.
Fiske, S. T., & Neuberg, S. L. (1990). A continuum of impression formation, from categorybased
to individuating processes: Influences of motivation and motivation on attention


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