Social norms and implicit prejudice

Social norms and implicit prejudice

Intergroup relations have always been characterized by manifest forms of prejudice. However, several social phenomena led to a mutation of this prejudice into more subtle forms of prejudice. Moreover, implicit forms of prejudice have been identified. Following the identification of implicit prejudice, two fundamental questions emerged: 1) Can implicit prejudice be suppressed? 2) Is implicit prejudice linked with discrimination? We propose to show that contextual norms may contribute to the suppression or promotion of the emergence of implicit prejudice and may attenuate or reinforce the link between implicit prejudice and behavior. Even though the importance of implicit prejudice and social norms is increasingly acknowledged in the field of intergroup relations, no studies have yet focused the moderating role of social norms on the emergence of implicit prejudice and on the relationship between implicit prejudice and prejudiced behavior. We intend to carry out five experimental studies to address these issues.

Estatuto: 
Participant entity
Financed: 
No
Keywords: 

Implicit Prejudice, Social Norms, Discrimination, Immigration

Intergroup relations have always been characterized by manifest forms of prejudice. However, several social phenomena led to a mutation of this prejudice into more subtle forms of prejudice. Moreover, implicit forms of prejudice have been identified. Following the identification of implicit prejudice, two fundamental questions emerged: 1) Can implicit prejudice be suppressed? 2) Is implicit prejudice linked with discrimination? We propose to show that contextual norms may contribute to the suppression or promotion of the emergence of implicit prejudice and may attenuate or reinforce the link between implicit prejudice and behavior. Even though the importance of implicit prejudice and social norms is increasingly acknowledged in the field of intergroup relations, no studies have yet focused the moderating role of social norms on the emergence of implicit prejudice and on the relationship between implicit prejudice and prejudiced behavior. We intend to carry out five experimental studies to address these issues.

Objectivos: 
a) To analyze the influence of explicit social norms (egalitarianism vs. meritocracy) on the emergence of implicit prejudice. <p>b) To analyse the moderating role of social norms on the relationship between implicit prejudice and (deliberative and impulsive) discriminatory behaviour.</p><p>c) To contribute to a further understanding of the general relationship between explicit and implicit variables</p>
State of the art: 
Intergroup relations have always been characterized by manifest forms of prejudice. However, several social phenomena led to a mutation of this prejudice into more subtle/hidden forms of prejudice (Pettigrew &amp; Meertens, 1995). Moreover, implicit forms of prejudice have been identified (Greenwald &amp; Banaji, 1995). <p>Following the identification of implicit prejudice, two fundamental questions emerged: 1) can implicit prejudice be suppressed? 2) Is implicit prejudice linked with discrimination?</p><p>Some have argued that, due to its automatic nature, implicit prejudice is immune to prevention (Bargh, 1999). However, it has been shown that the context can moderate the emergence of implicit prejudice (Wittenbrink et al, 2001).</p><p>We propose to show that contextual norms may contribute to the suppression or promotion of implicit prejudice and may attenuate or reinforce the link between implicit prejudice and behavior.</p><p>1) The influence of social norms on the emergence of implicit prejudice</p><p>Social norms are a fundamental factor that has been frequently linked to phenomena of prejudice and racism (Sherif and Sherif, 1953; Pettigrew, 1958). Gaertner and Dovidio (1986) argued, within their theory of aversive racism, on the importance of anti-racism norms on the suppression of racism manifestations. In this vein, the anti-racism norm has been associated with egalitarian values while the rejection of this norm relies on meritocratic values.</p><p>Numerous studies have verified the link between meritocracy and racial attitudes (e.g., Biernat et al, 1996) and between egalitarianism and racial attitudes (Moskowitz et al, 2000) even in childhood (Monteiro et al,2008).Results of survey research also relate egalitarianism, meritocracy and prejudice (Vala and colleagues,2004). However, to our knowledge, no study has ever examined the role of contextual norms on the expression of implicit or automatic prejudice.</p><p>2) The moderating role of social norms in the relationship between implicit prejudice and behavior</p><p>This relationship has been addressed before (e.g. Dovidio et al, 2002; Dotsch &amp; Wigboldus, in press). Dovidio and colleagues (2002) showed that Whites' implicit prejudice toward Blacks significantly predicted Whites' non-verbal friendliness towards them. Dotsch and Wigboldus (in press) tested the same relationship but in a highly controlled and unobtrusive virtual environment showing that highly-prejudiced individuals kept more distance from avatars (virtual confederates) with outgroup features than low-prejudiced individuals. </p><p>Considering that when contextual factors establish a psychological coherence between attitudes and behavior the relationship between them is more probable (Smith &amp; Terry, 2003), we expect a moderation of social norms on the relationship between prejudice and discrimination. However, no studies have addressed this hypothesis. Vala and colleagues (2008) addressed the moderating role of norms on the relationship between depersonalization and discrimination, but the question remained whether depersonalization constituted a form of prejudice. Moreover, the authors used an explicit measure of orientation to discrimination.</p><p>One last question remains also on whether the explicit vs. implicit nature of norms may influence these mechanisms.</p><p>Thus, regardless of the importance of norms, no studies have yet focused the moderating role of (explicit and implicit) social norms on the emergence of implicit prejudice and on the relationship between implicit prejudice and behavior.</p>
Parceria: 
Unintegrated
Coordenador 
Start Date: 
15/01/2009
End Date: 
15/01/2012
Duração: 
36 meses
Closed