America prides itself on its immigrant culture and great progressive values that have been the key to political, economic, and technological superiority. Indeed, the United States is comprised of a diversity of cultures and ethnicities. Even with its progressive history and values, America is far from perfect. Prejudice and bigotry are still major problems in all aspects of American life. Although American culture values and respects diversity, personal and institutional prejudice and intolerance are still major problems of American culture.
[...] Specifically, the one-group condition reduced bias by increasing the cohesion with former outgroup members, while the individual condition reduced bias by reducing cohesion with the former ingroup members. Thus, the results support the effectiveness of recategorization and decategorization of ingroups to reduce intergroup bias. However, like Sherif et al.'s (1961) problem, Gaertner et al.'s (1989) study was conducted with nominal groups that were arbitrarily assigned and short-lived. It is much easier after all to take off a red tag that had meant nothing 10 minutes ago and work with someone with a blue tag than it is to relinquish one's race or ethnicity and work with an outgroup with whom a whole history of conflict and distrust is associated. [...]
[...] The IAT serves as both an indicator of current levels of prejudice and a measure to test how effective various strategies are in reducing prejudice. The Contact Hypothesis Not satisfied with merely recognizing the current state of prejudice, social psychologists have also researched ways to reduce prejudice. In his milestone publication, Allport (1954) vehemently argues that prejudice is not inevitable and that people can use social interventions to both reduce the intensity of prejudice and counter its worst effects. Allport suggested that the best way to reduce hostility towards outgroup members is to bring the two groups into contact with each other in various ways. [...]
[...] The results suggest that white individuals in diverse groups are more motivated to avoid prejudice and more systematically and thoroughly process the information in the trial. White jurors in diverse groups were also less likely to come into the deliberation room believing the defendant was guilty suggesting that merely the presence of diversity affects how information in the trial is remembered and weighed. Although the results may have been affected because the participants knew that their conversations were being monitored and that the case was not real, these problems should affect all groups equally and are not large enough to explain the significant differences between the two conditions. [...]
[...] (Dovidio et al., 2003) When all the above conditions are met, social contact is an effective way of reducing prejudice. Equal status social contact that fulfills these requirements reduces prejudice for all different types of groups, including race. For instance, living with an outgroup college roommates (both randomly chosen and voluntarily chosen) for a year leads to reduced bias towards racial outgroups. The college roommate scenario is an equal interaction which requires a great deal of interdependence. Thus, this data supports the hypothesis. [...]
[...] Although it is logical through personal experience that this would be the case and evolutionary arguments for it can easily be made, clear evidence detailing the biological or cognitive mechanisms of this process will help us better understand and address prejudice and develop strategies to deal with bias. Conclusion This paper looked to explore possible ways to reduce prejudice and intergroup bias, particularly at an implicit level. The Contact Hypothesis and Recategorization are both techniques that show promise in affecting this. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee