"They're not like us": The demonization and dehumanization of particular groups

 

Jon Mueller
Professor of Psychology
North Central College

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our brain is wired to CATEGORIZE

 

Minimal Group Paradigm: Method of studying how people easily identify with a new group based on trivial distinctions

 

Ingroup Bias: Tendency to prefer own group over the outgroup and perceive own group as superior

 

Much of our identity is tied into the groups to whom we belong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stereotypes: Beliefs about a group and its members

positive

negative

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEREOTYPES + NEGATIVE EMOTION

leads to...

 

Prejudice: A preconceived negative attitude towards a group and its members

Discrimination: Unjustified negative behavior towards a group and its members

Racism: Prejudice and discrimination towards a racial/ethnic group and its members

Bigotry: Prejudice and discrimination towards a group and its members

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources of Negative Emotion

(Perceived) Threat

It's not reality itself, but our perception of reality, that influences our behavior

 

HATRED / DISCRIMINATION / OSTRACISM / STIGMA / VIOLENCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Must JUSTIFY prejudice and discrimination

 

 

 

THE "OTHER"

not like us

inferior

not even HUMAN

 

What % human are you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEMONIZE -- ex. QANON conspiracy theory

 

 

DEHUMANIZATION: the process of depriving a person or group of positive human qualities

 

 

 

 

Research article: https://faculty.kellogg.northwestern.edu/models/faculty/m_download_document.php?id=373

 

EXAMPLES?

 

When are we less likely to dehumanize prisoners?

Politics are becoming more "tribal"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOW prejudices formed and justified....

 

Encounter lots of non-stereotypical behavior

 

How do we MAINTAIN these prejudices?

 

We don't like COGNITIVE DISSONANCE (uncomfortable tension resulting from a conflict between one's attitudes, beliefs, and/or behaviors)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOOLS OF THE BRAIN

 

1) Behavioral Confirmation: When people's social expectations lead them to behave in ways that cause others to confirm their expectations

 

2) CONFIRMATION BIAS: tendency to seek information that confirms out beliefs and ignore disconfirming evidence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) IMPLICIT BIAS: unconscious biases

 

The marvels of the unconscious mind

 

4) PRIMING: Activation of associations in memory

E to P to B

 

 

DWB?

SIASMYOBWB?

DWG?

Is it possible to rid police officers of bias?

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REDUCING PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION

 

What Doesn't Work (yet)

 

Implicit Bias Training (especially mandatory)

Research

 

Telling the other person they are an idiot (even if they are!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Does Work

 

Contact

(doctors in training)

Laws / Restructure environments

Effective interventions

"...provide people with counterstereotypical thoughts or strategies to override their implicit biases, and tend to be highly vivid and self-relevant."

 

 

 

 

Treat others as you would have them treat you -- They are not "the other" as you are not to them

 


 

 

 

 

http://jfmueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/crow/prejudice.htm

 

http://jfmueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/aauw.html