Stereotypes interfering with making money
Sociology Abstract Over the last 30 years there has been growing research into the concept of implicit stereotypes. This has been found even for people who consciously reject the use of such stereotypes, and seek to be fair in their judgement of other people.
The predictive brain is assumed to operate through Bayesian principles, developing associations through experience of their prevalence in the social world of the perceiver.
If the predictive brain were to sample randomly or comprehensively then stereotypical associations would not be picked up if they did not represent the state of the world.
However, people are born into culture, and communicate within social networks. Therefore to understand implicit stereotypes, research should examine more closely the way associations are communicated within social networks rather than focusing exclusively on an implied cognitive bias of the individual. Download PDF Traditionally a stereotype has been defined as overgeneralized attributes associated with the members of a social group such as the reserved English or the geeky engineerwith the implication that it applies to all group members Hinton, A large body of research, particularly in the United States of America USAhas focused on the negative stereotypes of women and African Americans, which are linked to prejudice and discrimination in society Nelson,Steele, A considerable amount of effort has been made subsequently to persuade people to avoid stereotype use, by highlighting its inaccuracy and unfairness for example, Brown, However, since the s, cognitive researchers, such as Tajfelhave argued that stereotyping is a general feature of human social categorization.
Despite this, it has been argued that individuals can consciously seek to avoid using negative stereotypes and maintain a non-prejudiced view of others Devine, ; Schneider, Indeed, Fiske and Taylor claim that now only ten percent of the population in Western democracies employ overt stereotypes. Unfortunately, recent work, specifically using techniques such as the Implicit Associations Test Greenwald et al. It stereotypes interfering with making money also proposed that combining the research on implicit cognition with an understanding of the complex dynamics of culture and communication, will lead to greater insight into the nature of implicit stereotypes.
Implicit stereotypes The view of a stereotype as a fixed set of attributes associated with a social group comes from the seminal experimental psychology research by Katz and Braly One hundred students of Princeton University were asked to select the attributes that they associated with ten specific nationalities, ethnic and religious groups from a list of 84 characteristics.
The researchers then compiled the attributes most commonly associated with each group. The study was repeated in Princeton by Gilbert and Karlins et al. The endurance of these associations, such as the English as tradition-loving and conservative, over 35 years has often been narrowly interpreted as evidence for the fixed nature of stereotypes.
Yet, a closer look at the data shows counter-evidence. Also both the percentages and the chosen attributes changed over time. Also the stereotypes generally tended to become more positive over time. The notion of implicit stereotypes is built on two key theoretical concepts: associative networks in semantic knowledge memory and automatic activation.
Concepts in semantic stereotypes interfering with making money are assumed to be linked together in terms of an associative network, with associated concepts having stronger links, or are closer together, than unrelated concepts Collins and Loftus, Related concepts cluster together, such as hospital, doctor, nurse, patient, ward, orderly, operating theatre, and so stereotypes interfering with making money, in a local network Payne and Stereotypes interfering with making money, that is sometimes referred to as a schema Ghosh and Gilboa, ; see Hinton, Considerable amount of research has been undertaken on the nature of semantic association, which reflects subjective experience as well as linguistic similarity, although people appear to organize their semantic knowledge in similar ways to others.
Weakly associated concepts may be activated by spreading activation based on thematic association, and the complexity of the structure of associations develops over time and experience De Deyne et al. The spreading activation of one concept to another was viewed as occurring unconsciously or automatically. In the mids a distinction was made between two forms of mental processing: conscious or controlled processing and automatic processing Shiffrin and Schneider, Conscious processing involves attentional resources and can be employed flexibly and deal with novelty.
However, it requires motivation and takes time to operate, which can lead to relatively slow serial processing of information. Automatic processing operates outside of attention, occurs rapidly and involves parallel processing.
However, it tends to be inflexible and to a high degree uncontrollable. Kahneman refers to these as System 2 and System 1, respectively. Shiffrin and Schneider found that detecting a letter among numbers could be undertaken rapidly and effortlessly, implying the automatic detection of the categorical differences of letters and numbers. Detecting items from a group of target letters among a second group of background letters took time and concentration, requiring conscious attentional processing.
However, novel associations of certain letters as targets and other letters as background could be learnt by extensive practice as long as the associations were consistent targets were never used as background letters.
Thus, consistency of experience practice can lead to new automatically activated learnt associations. However, when Shiffrin and Schneider switched the targets and background letters after thousands of consistent trials, performance dropped to well below the initial levels—detection times were stereotypes interfering with making money slow requiring conscious attention as participants struggled with the automatic activation of the old-but-now-incorrect targets.
Slowly, and with additional practice of thousands of trials, performance gradually improved with the new configuration of target and background letters.
This was demonstrated by Devine White participants were asked to generate the features of the Black stereotype, and also to complete a prejudice questionnaire. Devine found that both the low- and high-prejudiced individuals knew the characteristics of the Black stereotype. In the next phase of the study the participants rated the hostility of a person only referred to as Donald, described in a stereotypes interfering with making money paragraph as performing ambiguously hostile behaviours such as demanding his money back on something he had just bought in a store.
Before the description, words related to the Black stereotype were rapidly displayed on the screen but too briefly to be consciously recognized. Finally, the participants were asked to anonymously list their own views of Black people. Devine explained these results by arguing that, during socialization, members of a culture learn the beliefs existing in that culture concerning different social groups. Owing to their frequency of occurrence, stereotypical associations about people from the stereotyped group become firmly-established in memory.
Owing to their widespread existence in society, more-or-less everyone in the culture, even the non-prejudiced individual, has the implicit stereotypical associations available in semantic memory.
However, people whose personal beliefs reject prejudice and discrimination may seek to consciously inhibit the effect of the stereotype in their thoughts and behaviour. Unfortunately, as described above, conscious processing requires the allocation of attentional resources and so the influence of an automatically activated stereotype may only be inhibited if the person is both aware of its potential bias on activation and is motivated to allocate the time and effort to suppress it and replace it in their decision-making with an intentional non-stereotypical judgement.
Yet, Devine and Monteith argued that they can be consciously suppressed when a non-prejudiced perception is sought. Also an implicit stereotype is only automatically activated when the group member is perceived in terms of a particular social meaning Macrae et al. Devine and Sharp argued that conscious and automatic activation are not mutually exclusive but how do they make money? social perception there is an interplay between the two processes.
Indeed, Devine and Sharp argued that a range of situational factors and individual differences can affect automatic stereotype activation, and conscious control can suppress their effects on social perception.
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Greenwald and Banaji called for the greater use of indirect measures of implicit cognition to demonstrate the effect of activation outside of the conscious control of the perceiver. Thus, they concluded that the indirect reaction time measure was identifying an implicit stereotype effect.
Consequently, Greenwald et al. This word-association reaction time test presents pairs of words in a sequence of trials over five stages, with each stage examining the reaction time to different combinations of word pairings. From the results at the different stages, the reaction time to various word associations can be examined. The results have been quite dramatic.
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The subsequent use of the IAT has consistently demonstrated implicit stereotyping for a range of different social categories, particularly gender and ethnicity Greenwald et al. Implicit stereotyping is now viewed as one aspect of implicit social cognition that is involved in a range of social judgements Payne and Gawronski, Criticisms of the findings of the IAT have questioned whether it is actually identifying a specific unconscious prejudice, unrelated to conscious judgement Oswald et al.
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In support of the IAT, Greenwald et al. As a consequence, if implicit stereotyping indicates a potentially-uncontrollable cognitive bias, the question then arises as to how to deal with the outcomes of it in decision-making, particularly for a person genuinely striving for a non-prejudiced judgement.
Implicit stereotypes and the predictive brain: cognition and culture in “biased” person perception
Overt prejudice has been tackled by a range of socio-political measures from anti-discrimination laws to employment interviewer training, but interventions essentially seek to persuade or compel individuals to consciously act in a non-prejudiced way. Lai et al. Different interventions had different effects on the implicit stereotype as measured by the IAT.
For example, a vivid counter-stereotypical example which the participants read —imagining walking alone at night and being violently assaulted by a White man and rescued by a Black man—was quite effective.
However, of the nine interventions examined by Lai et al. The authors concluded that, while implicit associations were malleable in the short term, these brief interventions had no long term effect. This could indicate that implicit stereotypes are firmly established and may only be responsive to intensive and long-term interventions Devine et al. Law Professor Krieger argued that lawmakers and lawyers should take account of psychological explanations of implicit bias in their judgements.
For example, in a study by Cameron et al.
The myth that women are inherently bad at managing money is pervasive. Men make the money, and women spend it. Research has shown huge discrepancies in the way men and women are spoken to about money, particularly in the media. READ MORE: Why being 'too grateful' at work can impact women's careers If an article was aimed at a female reader, financial planning and budgeting was portrayed as overwhelming, stressful and scary. The imagery used was infantile or anxiety-inducing, showing women counting pennies or being crushed by a huge credit card.
When this discrimination was presented as resulting from an unconscious bias, that the employer was unaware of, then the personal responsibility for the discrimination was viewed as lower by the participants. This also has potential legal significance Krieger and Fiske,as the law has traditionally assumed that a discriminatory act is the responsibility of the individual undertaking that act, with the assumption of an underlying discriminatory motivation an intention.
The effect of an implicit stereotype bias may be a discriminatory action that the individual neither intended nor was conscious of. Implicit stereotype bias provides a challenge to the individual as the sole source and cause of their thoughts and actions. In a huge study of over two hundred thousand participants, all citizens of the USA, Axt et al.
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- The latter were introduced to the participants using occupational role nouns stereotypically marked with gender paired with feminine or masculine proper names e.
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Whilst participants showed in-group favouritism, consistent hierarchies of the social groups emerged in their response times. For ethnicity, in terms of positivity of evaluation, Whites were highest, followed by Asians, Blacks and Hispanics, with the same order obtained from participants from each of the ethnic groups. For religion, a consistent stereotypes interfering with making money of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Islam was produced.
For the age study, positive evaluations were associated with youth, with a consistent order of children, young adults, middle-aged adults, and old adults, across participants of all ages, from their teens to their sixties. Axt et al. It is this issue that is now considered here. When, in the past, only a specific group of people were assumed to stereotype such as authoritarians or the cognitively simple then they could be viewed as biased in terms of the liberal views of the rest of the population.
Indeed, some psychologists who the reader rightly infers to be supporters of egalitarian values are willing to reveal examples of their inadvertent use of implicit stereotypes in their own lives—to their chagrin for example, Stainton Rogers, : Now the assumption is that implicit stereotypes can affect everyone.
There also arises the question of how an unbiased judgement can be defined. This idea of an implicit stereotype as a cognitive bias is challenged here. A wheel is said to be biased if it wobbles on an axle when others do not.
Different cultures—as nation states—have different belief systems that are conventionalised into different national legal systems, with dynamically changing laws. Recently, the psychologist Haidt has examined the difference between liberals and conservatives in the USA in terms of their moral foundations.
Why women are stereotyped as being terrible with money
Furthermore, not all implicit stereotypes have the same cultural value. Both associations are overgeneralisations and can be labelled as stereotypes. Yet there is no large body of psychological research challenging the stereotype of the creative artist.
This is because the two associations differ significantly in their socio-cultural and political meaning. The latter presents a representation of women common in the past which is no longer acceptable in a modern liberal democracy where generations of women have politically fought hard to overcome discrimination and achieve equality.
Not surprisingly, the majority of stereotypes interfering with making money research into stereotyping in the psychological literature has focused on very specific topics: ethnicity or race, gender, sexuality, disability and age. These are all critical issues in the political debates during the last century in Western societies, particularly the USA.
Conventional views about these social groups have also undertaken radical change in line with the greater concerns about reducing discrimination and promoting equality. As a result the common views and associated descriptive terminology of only a past generation or two are now socially unacceptable and often illegal. These topics continue stereotypes interfering with making money be of significance in an ongoing political discussion about anti-discrimination and equality in modern Western democracies.
Finally, human cognitive abilities have evolved for a purpose, and implicit associations guiding rapid decision-making have a survival benefit. Fox argued that this form of pre-judgement rather than culturally based intergroup prejudices has evolutionary value. Indeed, Todd et al.
The model of the person emerging from the implicit stereotyping research appears to characterise the fair-minded individual as wrestling with an implicitly biased cognitive monster within them. However, it is argued here that this is a false image. We learn the cultural mores of our society through socialisation and daily communication with other members of the culture.
We may not approve of all aspects of our culture and indeed might strongly object to some but cultural knowledge—just like other knowledge—is crucial to our pragmatic functioning in society. The wide range of semantic associations we learn in our culture can successfully guide our judgements from what to wear at a job interview, which side of the road to drive on, and how to talk to the boss.
Perception operates by employing prior probabilities that are efficiently deployed to reduce the processing requirements of treating each new experience as completely new. While explored mostly with basic object perception, Clark argued that it is applicable to social perception, and Otten et al.
For Clark perceiving is predicting. For example, we are able to quickly and efficiently recognize a friend we have arranged to meet outside a restaurant, even from quite a distance.
Through repeated experience of the friend we have developed a sophisticated prediction based on a range of cues from their gait to their favourite coat. Usually, this prediction is correct and it is the person we expected. The dynamic of the predictive brain is to minimise the error of the prediction, that is, the difference between the prediction and the experienced event. However, an occasional error—as only one instance—will normally only have a small effect on the prior probabilities that have been developed over multiple successful perceptions.