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Theories on Stereotypes

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Each of the following studies is an attempt to explain the origin of stereotypes, that is, where
they come from.
For each study,​ identify the theory​ that is being used to explain the origin of stereotypes and
explain ​one limitation of the study
Study 1. Schaller (1991)
As in Tajfel and Turner’s class study, participants were randomly assigned to be members of a
group. They were then presented with a series of statements that described members in both
the group to which they had been assigned and the group that was not their group. The
statements described both desirable and undesirable behaviours. Results showed that when
participants were asked about their own group, they recalled stereotyping statements that
favoured their own group, indicating an in-group bias. They also recalled better the negative
stereotypes of the out-group, focusing on the more negative aspects of behaviour, rather than
the positive behaviours.
Study 2 Rogers and Frantz (1961)
Rogers & Frantz wanted to test the hypothesis that in today's Zimbabwe the attitudes of
European settlers about Africans would be inversely correlated to the amount of time that they
had lived in the country - that is, as the length of their residence increased, race attitudes would
become more “conservative.” The researchers defined conservatism as wanting to maintain a
system of racial segregation. The sample consisted of 500 White Europeans aged 20 and over,
living in Rhodesia for a period of less than five years
to over forty years. The method was a survey
containing sixty-six examples of laws and customs in
which White Europeans and Africans were treated
differently - this included the use of racially
segregated lands, lack of political representation, the
use of public facilities, and cross-racial sexual
relations.
Four response choices were provided with 0 for it is
very important to maintain the current system, 2 for a
weak feeling of importance, 4 is for a preference for discontinuing the law and 6 for is very
important to discontinue the law. The majority of Europeans in Zimbabwe favoured the retention
of the status quo. 348 of the 500 participants (almost 70 percent) fell below a mean score of
3.00. The Europeans who supported the status quo least strongly were those who had been
living in Zimbabwe for fewer than five years. The scores indicate that new arrivals would
inevitably change their attitudes over time.
Study 3. Hamilton and Gifford (1976)
Participants listened to a series of statements made about people from two groups - simply
called group A and B. There were twice as many people in group A as group B, so group B was
Each of the following studies is an attempt to explain the origin of stereotypes, that is, where
they come from.
For each study,​ identify the theory​ that is being used to explain the origin of stereotypes and
explain o
​ ne limitation of the study
the minority group. Each statement was about one individual in the group and the statement
was either positive or negative. Each group had the same proportion of positive and negative
comments. Participants were then asked how
many of the people in each group had positive
vs. negative traits. They overestimated the
number of negative traits in the minority group.
Hamilton & Gifford argued that this was
because the minority group was by nature
smaller in number,
their negative behaviours appeared more
distinct and appear to be representative of the
group. So, one minority male is caught stealing
and it appears to be related to the fact that he is a minority
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