[BLANK_AUDIO]. Okay so for the next two lectures, we're going to take some of these themes we've been talking about but we're, we're going to apply them to a very specific issue and that issue is prejudice. it's something that virtually all of us have experienced one way or another although clearly some of us experienced it a little more [INAUDIBLE], a little more often. and in fact because it's such a common facet of society in general, there's been quite a bit of research on it. There is a really fascinating study I want to tell you about in the next lecture. But to kind of set everything up for that, I want to begin just by kind of laying the ground work, around the notions of schema, stereotypes, and how they link to prejudicial attitudes. So let's go in there. Alright. Week 6, Lecture 6. Schemas, Stereotypes and Prejudice. So I want to begin by just making it clear that a lot of prejudicial reactions while clearly hurtful, they stem from a process or a set of processes that are in fact generally helpful. they're things we rely on all the time. But it can awry especially if the information we're using is incorrect essentially. So let me slowly build up that story and I want to begin by this notion of generalization and discrimination. the idea here is as we go through our life, we experience exemplars of certain things. And we start to realize similarities in these examplars, and by realizing similarities, we can get some guidance on how we should be behaving. Okay, that all sounded vague, let me be clear. Okay, let's start. Let's say you're beginning to learn about restaurants, and you go to a restaurant that's this kind of restaurant a fast food style restaurant. And when you go there, maybe you're going with somebody else and you learn the set of behaviors that are related to these kids of restaurants. And you also learn the features of these restaurants. So, for example, these features typically involve some sort of long counter at the front [SOUND] with individuals behind it [SOUND] and a big menu board across the back like this. And then, potentially some various food items or other things here, as well. And, what you do, the script that you follow, if you will. Or, sometimes what we call schema, is that you come first to this counter. You [INAUDIBLE] place your order, you tell the person what you want. They typically want your cash right away, so you have to give them your cash. You scoot on down the counter, they eventually give you your food, you take your food and you go sit at a table. Okay? So let's say you experience this in this restaurant. And then a few days later, you come to a restaurant that looks like this. Well, we got the counter, we got the menu board, we got the person behind. And if we now assume, well, okay, this second place is probably like the first place. Then we kind of know how to behave. We should do the same thing. Go up and talk to this person and place our order, give them our money, get our food, go sit down. That'll work as well, in this place. So, again, a little different but basically we have a counter. This one's glass. Basically we have a menu board, and we have a person behind, and so, soon we learn this general class of events. That is, we generalize from these individual experiences to a certain class of event that we call, fast food restaurants. And so now when we walk into a place, even if we've never been there before, even if it's a brand new restaurant to us, very quickly we can learn those features. And once we see those features, we now know what to do. We know what our role is. Okay? Now this doesn't hold for every restaurant of course, if we see this restaurant if, if we try to do this here we're going to run into trouble. There's no counter like, like where do you go? What, where do you go and, and pay? Well, this is not a fast food restaurant. And if we try to behave as though it were, we will quickly realize that those behaviors don't work. there is a different set of behaviors. So originally we have to learn that different set of behaviors. and in this case, that usually means waiting for someone to come get us. That person brings us to a table, leaves. Some other person comes and gives us menus, and takes a drink order, then leaves. Et cetera, et cetera. and so we go, okay that's how this restaurant works. And then, maybe a little while later, we're in this one. But it turns out this one works a lot like this one does. Same basic process same steps we go through, same for this one. And so now we're starting to learn a couple of things. Within these classes we can generalize if it looks sort of similar and you know these ones do. Then we can, apply the same rules. But we also learned, that sometimes there's critical differences, even though both of these are places we go to get food and to pay for it, and to have somebody else cook it and serve it, the rules are different. So we have to discriminate between these different kinds of restaurants. But then within each kind, we can generalize these rules. And the claim is that right from very young children we are going through the world, having experiences and learning which ones we can cluster together and generalize between, and which ones we have to create separate categories for. And again, let me highlight this critical point. This ability to generalize is extremely useful because it means we don't have to learn things from scratch every time. Once we begin to develop a schema of a certain kind of restaurant, and we learn the features of that, then if we see those features in a new restaurant, we can apply the same schema, usually successfully. and we don't have to learn from scratch. We just pick up those behaviors, bring 'em to this new spot, and they usually work. So it, it allows learning to transfer, and it allows our behaviors to be much more guided. So it's very useful, the, these notions of schemas are generally very useful. but they can go wrong. Let's slowly get there. What happens when you apply this kind of logic to people? Well, so I've got a couple of examples here. This are the most common that people would talk about. male versus female. Differences. So you meet a lot of females in your life. You meet a lot of males in your life. And you may learn that there's certain differences that tend to be there. Those differences may not be as consistent or as extreme, as fast food versus sit down restaurants. But you still generally learn, for example, that men tend be larger, that men tend to be more stronger, that men tend to be more aggressive. that females tend to be um, [LAUGH] I might have to be very careful here, this is, this is the world we're in. Females tend to be more beautiful, they tend to be nicer people, they tend to be more caring. How's that? Am I, Is it working well? but you know, we get these ideas and now literally it's like the fast food restaurant. The first time we meet a new female there's no doubt we bring some of those assumptions with us. We assume this new female will, in some ways, respond like previous females have and that the behavioral repertoire, the way we behave towards the females in the past, the ways we've learned to behave. If we, if we apply those behaviors to this new female chances, more often than not, that will at least be a good place to start. Now we could run into obvious real problems here, I mean, there are females that are very different from the average female. So if we have a schema based on the females we've met, there are times when we will try to apply that a new individual and it won't work. that's one problem with schemas. This generalization assumes something that may be on average true. Some difference on average correct is not necessarily correct for every individual. you know, for every female, every male, for example. Let's take that point over to racial differences. Let me just ask you, based on stereotypes, based on whatever, these kids are going to grow up. Imagine them 16 years old. Who's the better dancer? Most of us are going to say, this guy is. Okay. We have this stereotype that African Americans have better sort of connection to rhythm. They have a better sense of rhythm. and this helps them in general for doing things like dancing. This is a stereotype. I, I can assure you there are African American males or/and females, for that matter, that are not very good dancers. And I can assure you there are, are children from all racial backgrounds, that are, other than African American, I mean, that are good dancers. So it's not to say that every African American. Will be better than every let's say, Caucasian, in terms of dancing ability. On average though, that's probably right. It at least seems to match what we see in the world. and so, you know that can sort of guide your problem solving. These stereotypes often do have some merit to them. and in general, they're effective. In general, if you learned, for example, the behaved differentially, to [INAUDIBLE] to different cultural groups. and so maybe I learned, for example, that if I'm interacting with a Muslim woman that I've just met, it might be perceived as uncomfortable for her if I reach out my hand and I offer to, to shake her hand. That for many Muslim women, that would be a very uncomfortable thing for them to do. whereas for, for a Caucasian woman, it would be a perfectly appropriate thing to do. So I can learn that distinction. I can discriminate in that way. And, by and large, that's probably not such a bad thing. it probably prevents me from putting a lot of Muslim women in an uncomfortable position. but its certainly not true of every Muslim woman. There may be some who would have been perfectly happy to shake my hand. And there may be some Caucasian women who would rather not shake my hand. but in, on average it's true and on average it allows me to kind of guide my behavior and at least in partly informed way even when I'm dealing with brand new people I don't know. Can be problematic, but can be useful. Now here's where things get really problematic. stereotypes, when they are based on real information, information you've gathered from interacting with the world. they tend to be more useful than problematic, 'kay? The good part of that process outweighs the negative. But when your stereotypes are based on false information, when they are based on things like media exposure. you know books, magazines, movies and especially if there's a systematic bias in the media. So for example often a lot of actors of Middle Eastern descent are now pretty upset because the rolls that people want to give them are roles as terrorists. and you know, imagine yourself as an actor that really wants to make it in Hollywood. You get this opportunity to be in a block buster movie, it's your breakthrough, but they want you to play a terrorist. And you know that, geez I'm a Middle Eastern male, I'm going to be portrayed as a terrorist and I'm going to be giving people this impression that all terrorists are Middle Eastern males, or vice versa, that all Middle Eastern males are terrorists. And, that's certainly not true. That latter point is certainly not true. but, you know, if you ask in the real world, what proportion of Middle Eastern males are terrorists versus in the media, what proportion of Middle Eastern males are portrayed as terrorists, it's way overblown in the media. There's way, way, way more. You know, you might think more than half of Middle Eastern males are terrorists, as the media presents it. And in reality, you know, I don't know what the percentage is, but it's infinitesimal. so that's the case where the media has this systematic bias. And, we watch these models, role models we sometimes call them, but they are now feeding into our stereotype, generating system. And we start to think of Middle Eastern males that way. Or, you know, if we think of models, we think of beautiful women. Well, the media, the beautiful women, the media likes to present tend to be unhealthfully underweight. And so we start to think that's our definition of beauty. We form that stereotype. That's when things really can start to become harmfully prejudicial. now it's harmfully prejudicial even when you assume that something that's true of a persons race is true of them. You know, even sometimes we get bothered by that. That, you know, just because I'm a tall guy, you think I can play basketball. I am, I'm six foot three by the way. You, you wouldn't know that but, I am. but you know, somebody would think just because you are tall, you can play basketball. I might find that offensive but at least there's some merit to that. But when it's all media portrayal and the stereotype is based on false information, that's when it gets really tricky. Okay? So that's all meant as a backdrop to a really fascinating study we're going to talk about next. Just to get a little bit more of that backdrop, here's three videos highlighting, you know, in this case, the, the suggestion is that there are racial stereotypes occurring. Even in children's cartoons and children's entertainment. So that we begin spreading these false stereotypes very young. this is, this one talks about gender stereotypes in the media, so you can think of the gender issue. This is just a really kind of clever but weird, twisted scene from a movie called Crash. Where they're playing with this stereotype idea. so check that out. It'll mess with your head a little. That's what it's supposed to do. And here's a couple of readings, one on schema theory. this is actually a paper a whole paper with a long introduction and a lot of details about schema theory, if you're interested. This one's a little tricky. it's it's a website that presents some example of typically held stereotypes. they show them just if to, you know, provide illustrations of, of what these stereotypes are. and thereby, to kind of inform people why they can be dangerous. so, check that out. With all that under your belt, come on back and I will tell you about an experiment in which we started with a bunch of kids that liked each other. And then turned them into prejudicial kids, where one group hated another, and then tried to undo the damage we've done. And I don't mean we, of course, I mean a psychological experimenter named Charice/g. So we will come to that and Robber's Cove, next lecture.