Getting Hooked on Research in Social Psychology: Examples from Eyewitness Identification and Prejudice

posted Aug 19, 2015, 2:21 AM by Dan Statz   [ updated Aug 19, 2015, 2:21 AM ]

Prejudice and Out-Group Perception

posted Aug 19, 2015, 2:19 AM by Dan Statz   [ updated Aug 19, 2015, 2:19 AM ]

The Role of Discrepancy-Associated Affect in Prejudice Reduction

posted Aug 19, 2015, 2:05 AM by Dan Statz   [ updated Aug 19, 2015, 2:05 AM ]

In recent years, the study of social stereotypes and their role in preju­dice and intergroup relations has been dominated by efforts to understand the cognitive processes underlying stereotype activation and use. Several reviews of the cognitive approach to stereotyping indicate that cognitive processes and biases seem to ensure the persistence of stereotypes and their resistance to change (sec Hamilton, 1981; Hamilton & Trolier, 1986; Stephan, 1985, 1989). Despite progress in understanding the operation of such processes, the exclusive emphasis on the cognitive approach to stereotypes is viewed by many as being too narrow to produce a complete under­standing of stereotype activation and use,

Prejudice With and Without Compunction

posted Aug 19, 2015, 1:55 AM by Dan Statz   [ updated Aug 19, 2015, 1:55 AM ]

Ss reported their standards for how they should respond and how they would respond in contact situations with Black people (Study 1) and homosexual men (Study 2). Interest centered on the affective consequences associated with should-would discrepancies. Low and moderately prejudiced Ss with discrepancies reacted with feelings of global discomfort and with more specific feelings of compunction (guilt and self-criticism). High prejudiced Ss with discrepancies experienced only global discomfort. Study 3 data indicated that low prejudiced Ss internalized their nonprejudiced standards and felt obligated to respond consistently with them. High prejudiced Ss' personal standards were less well internalized and appeared to be derived from their perceptions of society's standards, which Ss indicated were mixed (i.e., contained both egalitarian and discriminatory components). Implications for prejudice reduction and contemporary models of prejudice are discussed.

Diagnostic and Confirmation Strategies in Trait Hypothesis Testing

posted Aug 19, 2015, 1:52 AM by Dan Statz   [ updated Aug 19, 2015, 1:52 AM ]

The role of diagnostic and confirmation strategies in trait hypothesis testing is examined. The present studies integrate theoretical and empirical work on qualitative differences among traits with the hypothesis-testing literature. Ss tested trait hypotheses from 2 hierarchically restrictive trait dimensions: introversion-extraversion and honesty-dishonesty. In Study 1, Ss generated questions to test trait hypotheses, and diagnosticity was theoretically defined (e.g., questions associated with nonrestrictive ends of trait dimensions). In Study 2, Ss selected questions from an experimenter- provided list in which diagnosticity was empirically defined. In Study 3, Ss chose between 2
equally diagnostic questions. In each of the studies, Ss showed a primary preference for diagnostic information and a secondary preference for confirmatory information. Ss' preference for diagnostic information suggests that they prefer to ask the most informative questions. The explanation for the confirmation bias is less obvious, and possible reasons for this effect are discussed.

Overattribution Effect: The Role of Confidence and Attributional Complexity

posted Aug 19, 2015, 1:49 AM by Dan Statz   [ updated Aug 19, 2015, 1:49 AM ]

The overattribution effect has proved to be a well-replicated if not a tenacious finding in the social psychological literature. This paper explores the possibility that 1) the robustness of the overattribution effect may be partially due to the insensitivity of traditional measures to subjects' judgmental uncertainty (i.e., attitude extremity scores) and 2) ability (i.e., attributional complexity) and motivation (i.e., normativeness of the position defended in the essay) may interact to diminish the overattribution effect. On the basis of Jones and Davis's (1965) correspondent inference theory, confidence measures were included to tap subjects' judgmental uncertainty. Subjects, who were identified as being high versus 'low in attributional complexity (Fletcher, Danilovics, Fernandez, Peterson, and Reeder 1986) were exposed to essays in favor of (normative) or opposed to (counternormative) federal support for AIDS research that had been prepared under free choice or constraint conditions. Subjects then estimated the essayist's attitude on the issue and rated their confidence in the attitude estimate. Attitude extremity scores showed the standard overattribution effect. As predicted, however, diminution of the overattribution effect was found for high-complexity subjects evaluating counternormative essays prepared under constraint. The discussion focuses on qualifications on the previously established pervasiveness of the overattribution effect.

Stereotypes and Prejudice: Their Automatic and Controlled Components

posted Aug 19, 2015, 1:46 AM by Dan Statz   [ updated Aug 19, 2015, 1:46 AM ]

Three studies tested basic assumptions derived from a theoretical model based on the dissociation of automatic and controlled processes involved in prejudice. Study I supported the model's assumption that high- and low-prejudice persons are equally knowledgeable of the cultural stereotype. The model suggests that the stereotype is automatically activated in the presence of a member (or some symbolic equivalent) of the stereotyped group and that Iow-prejudice responses require controlled inhibition of the automatically activated stereotype. Study 2, which examined the effects of automatic stereotype activation on the evaluation of ambiguous stereotype-relevant behaviors performed by a race-unspecified person, suggested that when subjects' ability to consciously monitor stereotype activation is precluded, both high- and low-prejudice subjects produce stereotype-congruent evaluations of ambiguous behaviors. Study 3 examined high- and low-prejudice subjects' responses in a consciously directed thought-listing task. Consistent with the model, only low-prejudice subjects inhibited the automatically activated stereotype-congruent thoughts and replaced them with thoughts reflecting equality and negations of the stereotype. The relation between stereotypes and prejudice and implications for prejudice reduction are discussed.

Goals in Social Information Processing: The Case of Anticipated Interaction

posted Aug 19, 2015, 1:40 AM by Dan Statz   [ updated Aug 19, 2015, 1:40 AM ]

Examined the role of anticipated-interaction instructions on memory for and organization of social information. In Study 1, Ss read and recalled information about a prospective partner (i.e., target) on a problem-solving task and about 4 other stimulus people. The results indicated that (a) Ss recalled more items about the target than the others, (b) the target was individuated from the others in memory, and (c) Ss were more accurate on a name-item matching task for the target than for the others. Study 2 compared anticipated interaction with several other processing goals (i.e., memory, impression formation, self-comparison, friend-comparison). Only anticipated-interaction and impression formation instructions led to higher levels of recall and more accurate matching performance for the target than for the others. However, the conditional probability data suggest that anticipated interaction led to higher levels of organization of target information than did any of the other conditions. Discussion considers information processing strategies that are possibly instigated by anticipated-interaction instructions.

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