Attitudes have been referred to as one of the most important concepts in public psychology. Relating to Petty and Cacioppo (1981) 'the term frame of mind should be used to make reference to a general, enduring positive or negative feeling about some person, subject, or issue'. All behaviour have a framework and according to the 'three-component attitude model' someone's attitude is a combination o three components: affective component (what a person feels about the frame of mind object), cognitive component (what a person believes the attitude object is like) and behavioural component (how a person actually response to the attitude subject). Attitudes likewise have a function. Katz (1960) proposed that there are different types of attitude each serving a new function, such as: adaptive function which helps to achieve goals; personal expressive function for expressing our believes and thoughts; ego-defensive function which shields one's self-esteem; knowledge function which helps us to structure and coordinate our social world and social modification function which helps us to control public situations.
According to Franzoi (1966) stereotypes are "set ways of thinking about people that put them into categories and do not allow for individual variation". Significant reasons of stereotypes are to reduce processing work by presenting a simple way of perceiving the planet and allow us to tell apart ourselves (and the communities to which we belong) plainly from the participants of other communities (Oakes, Haslam, &Turner, 1994). But they can have a negative side plus they can affect impression formation before we meet a person first-time. And this may lead quickly to prejudice (usually negative) and discrimination.
Prejudice can be an unjustified negative (or positive) frame of mind toward a sociable group or an associate of this group. Discrimination on the other hands refers to behavior or action considered against another group. The most common prejudices derive from sex, race, ethnicity, age, erotic orientation and physical and mental disabilities and the victims of prejudice can put up with material and subconscious drawback, low self-esteem, social stigma and physical and verbal abuse.
Social schemas play a huge role in impression formation. Corresponding to Fiske and Taylor (1991) 'Friendly schema is a mental platform for representing about oneself, other folks, and specific and common cultural situations and events'. These are organized collections of information predicated on past experience and they're helping with encoding new ones. You will find four different types of schema: self applied schemas which are cognitions about yourself; person schemas that are anticipations about people; role schemas, behaviours expected in particular communal situations and event schemas which can be sequences of occasions in familiar situations.
According to Asch (1946) some information we have about a person may have a solid and disproportionate effect in impression formation (central traits) plus some have little or no influence by any means on the formation of impression (peripheral attributes). To research this notion Asch gave members 1 of 2 lists of adjectives describing a person. The only differences between two lists were the word "warm" and "cold". Asch found that the person was scored more favorably by members given list comprising term "warm". This turned out that qualities of warm and cool are central traits and have a solid affect on impression creation. When the words "polite" and "blunt" were used rather than "warm" and "cold" Asch found no difference in score and this demonstrates these adjectives are peripheral characteristics and have little impact on impression creation.
In another experiment Asch (1946) demonstrated that the order in which information about a person is shown can own an affect on the impression created. He gave half of participants a list of adjectives describing the individual with positive features first and bad habits last, and the other half list with reversed order. He found that person was graded more positively by individuals given list comprising positive information at the start and negative at the end. That is called primacy result, when the attributes offered first disproportionally influence the ultimate impression.
Luchins (1957) on the other palm has exhibited in his experiment that information given previous has the best influence on the impression formed to create recency effect. He proved they are more likely that occurs when two sets of information are read with a period period between them.
Sherif (1936) carried out a study which shown that prejudice often results from conflict between groups. When two teams are in competition for resources which can be limited, the customers of every group have a tendency to become prejudiced resistant to the people of the other group. This explenation of prejudice is called realistic group conflict. Study which he cried to demonstrate this is recognized as the Robbers Cave experiment (Sherif et al. , 1961). Twenty-two boys aged between 11 and 12 years put in two weeks at a summertime camp in America. They were put into two categories (the Eagles and the Rattlers). Each group lived in a cabin that have been in a good way apart. Sherif (1936) setup some activities between them for competition of recources. The children were told that whichever group have better in various competitions would obtain prize, such as the best food at a celebration. The founding revealed quick development of a conflict between two organizations (fights, name calling, refusing to consume with the other group). Prejudice was greatly reduced when competetive situations substituted with cooperative, where the success of every group required the assistance of the other one. Sherif's theory has been recognized by Blake and Mouton (1961) by using similar strategies in group of studies concerning more than 1000 business people on management training programs in America. This is one way his theory has strong ecological validity which means that behaviour was examined in a way in which it could normally happen in everyday living. However Tyerman and Spencer (1983) argued that competition only has dramatic effects when those involved do not curently have long-term friendships. They detected scouts who knew each other well at their annual camp contending against each other in groups. In cases like this competition did not produce the unwanted effects. There is some concerns indicated within the ETHICS of Sherif's field review. It created discord and tension between groups that was distressing to some of the males attending the summer camp.
According to Friendly personality theory, one of the very most influental prejudice theories, developed by Henry Tajfel (1970) most of us have a need to comprehend and evaluate ourself. He argued that is achieved by three main procedures. The first one is cultural categorisation that involves categorising oneself and other people as belonging to various groups which produce cultural identities. Second process, positive distinctiveness is a need of people for enhanced self-esteem by belonging to succesful groups. That is achieved by the individual compering her or his group (ingroup) favourably against one or more other teams (outgroups). This technique is called social comparison. To confirm his theory he carried out a report on 14- and 15- year-old children. These were asked to calculate the number of dots seen in brief subjection and than they were assigned at random(without their knowledge) to 1 of two groups:the overestimators or the underestimators. From then on, they were asked to award tips (which they could exchange for the money) to other people of any group. Because of this boys given more things to memebrs of their own group than to memebrs of the other group which ultimately shows an proof ingroup favouritism. Tajfel theory has been recognized by Lemyre and Smith (1985). Their research demonstrated how people favour their own group over other teams in order to increase their self-esteem. Some of their participants got to provide rewards either to 1 of two ingroups or 1 of 2 outgroups when other individuals were allowed to give rewards to users of either an ingroup or an outgroup. Members who could discriminate towards an ingroup over an outgroup possessed higher self-esteem than those unable to do this. However Rabbie, Schot, and Visser (1989) argued that those forecasted effects of public identity do not always occur. They informed their participants in the test that they might get only what outgroup associates gave them. Because of that, self-interest outweighed their sense of interpersonal identity and these members exhibited outgroup favouritism.
Adorno et al. (1950) argued that individuals with authoritarian personality are most likely to be prejudiced. People who have this type of personality have got such features like:rigid values, hostility towards other organizations, intolerance of ambiguity and submissive behaviour towards those in expert. Regarding to Adorno et al. authoritarian personality has its origins in childhood experience. Children who acquire tough upbringing with a whole lot of punishment from other parents are likely to develop this personality. He devised various questionnaires relating to their theory. One of these was E-Scale, where ethnocentrism is a idea that one's own ethnic group is superior to all others (for example helps to evaluate prejudice towards dark people, Jews). More important one was the F(Fascism)-Scale, which measures the behaviour of the authoritarian personality. Adorno et al. (1950) gave large groups of people a number of lab tests and scientific interviewes and F-Scale. Those who scored on top of the F-Scale were more prejudiced than low scorers and in addition they appeared to have been treated more harshly than non-authoritarian individuals during years as a child. Adornos theorie has been backed by Altmeyer (1996). He advised that the origins of authoritarianism lay in adolescence alternatively than early years as a child. Those whose parents are authoritarian imitate the behavior of their parents. However Pettigrew (1958) argued that prejudice will depend on more on ethnical norms than on personality. He analyzed prejudice in South Africa and United States where the degrees of authoritarianism were the same (but more prejudice towards dark-colored people in South Africa than in america).
"Intergroup Contact (contact hypothesis Allport)"
Psychologists have discovered various approaches that may be taken to reduce or even eliminate all kinds of prejudice and discrimination. One of these is Allport's (1954) contact hypothesis. He argued that prejudice can be reduced by increasing public contact between prejudiced individuals and the communities against that they are prejudiced. His hypothesis is dependant on the concept that prejudice is dependant on ignorance, which is the consequence of limited social connection with outgroup participants. This limited contact and insufficient information about individuals of different groups contributes to developing negative, stereotypical views (Ellison & Capabilities, 1994) where way regular connection with other group associates promotes good attitude towards them and it allows to get information about them. Allport mentioned that contact is only likely to be effective under certain conditions: it will entail people (or teams) of equivalent social status; they ought to promote common goals;they need to work together to achieve such goal and there must be formal institutional support for intergroup approval. Without these conditions there is a possibility that good attitude change will not take place and intergroup issue and prejudice will increase (Bratt, 2002). Among the psychologists which supported contact hypothesis was Bratt (2002) who discovered that students possessed more good attitude towards outgroup associates which they got contact with at institution than outgroups customers they had minimal interaction in any way. Ellison and Power (1994) found that Afro-Americans with white friends got more positive attitude towards white people than dark-colored people without such friendships.
Contact hypothesis is one of the most effective ways to improve intergroup relations but its been greatly criticised to be overly positive and that the contact even under ideal circumstances might possibly not have any impact on reducing prejudice and stereotypes in any way. Also research which helps this hipothesis has been highly criticised. Community psychologists argued that conditions essential for reduction of prejudice make this hypothesis not applicable to the real world (Dixon, Durrheim & Tredoux, 2005). Ellison & Powers (1994) and Robinson & Preston (1976) recommended that casual contact is not adequate in lowering prejudice because conditions for optimal contact aren't characteristic for some casual encounters between communities. Also Hanssen (2001) criticised research on the contact hypothesis to be carried under ideal or laboratory conditions where its promoted and monitored rather than everyday options. He founded his founding on his analysis which has failed to support contact hypothesis in natural environment. Also the study has been criticized because of its huge concentrate on white Americans (Ellison & Powers, 1994). Beacuse it's focused on such a restricted area, the meaning of intergroup contact might be not entirely understood for users of other races. It's been supported by Robinson and Preston (1976) review in which they examined for prejudice, North american and DARK-COLORED teachers. A similar psychologists again critisised contact hypothesis because of forcing prejudiced individuals into connection with others. Instead of lowering their prejudices it was much more likely to get unfavorable results. To summarise it, contact hyphothesis has been investigateg and hugle criticised since its development but still its said to be one of the very most effective ways to reduce prejudice and discrimination in intergroup relations.
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