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
STEREOTYPES + NEGATIVE EMOTION
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
It's not reality itself, but our perception of reality, that influences our behavior
HATRED / DISCRIMINATION / OSTRACISM / STIGMA / VIOLENCE
Must JUSTIFY prejudice and discrimination
not like us
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
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
Is it possible to rid police officers of bias?
REDUCING PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION
What Doesn't Work (yet)
Implicit Bias Training (especially mandatory)
Telling the other person they are an idiot (even if they are!)
What Does Work
(doctors in training)
Laws / Restructure environments
"...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