the following page I will be adding information on understanding the dynamics
of prejudicial behavior. I plan to have this page grow over time and anyone
wishing to submit information on a study is welcome to email that information
I know of no other dynamic which has been more related
to the absence of prejudicial behavior.
1. Children's empathy and prosocial behavior
Parents' use of inductive discipline as opposed
to power-assertive discipline was related to children's prosocial behavior.
Children of inductive parents were more empathic, and more empathic children
were more prosocial
Parents' use of inductive discipline: Relations to children's empathy and
prosocial behavior, Krevans, Julia; Gibbs, John C. Child Development, 1996
Dec Vol 67(6) 3263-3277
2. Empathy developed toward one member of a stigmatized group will generalize
to the group as a total.
This study was conducted with three different stigmatized
groups and seems to be a process that is true across other groups. One interesting
and unexpected aspect was that the empathy toward murderers grew over the
next couple of weeks after the experience.
Empathy and Attitudes: Can Feeling for a Member of a Stigmatized Group Improve
Feelings Toward the Group? C. Daniel Batson, Marina P. Polycarpou, Eddie Harmon-Jones,
Heidi J. Imhoff, Erin C. Mitchener, Lori L. Bednar, Tricia R. Klein, and Lori
3. It seems to be Empathy not Altruism:
Caring about those who are different than ourselves
seems to occur as we look beyond those differences and find similarities which
we share with other people. This was the conclusion of a group of studies
publish recently by the American Psychological Association. The studies seem
to be indicating that simply altruism does not exist. It is through the development
of empathy for those who are different than ourselves that we discover our
concern for others. These studies seem to indicate that the development of
empathy is still the most powerful process for reducing prejudicial behavior.
Reinterpreting The Empathy - Altruism Relationship: When One Into One Equals
Oneness, by Cialdini, Brown, Lewis, Luce, and Neuberg, Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology, Vol, 73, No., 3 page 481
Power Differential -
Our perception of prejudicial behavior is clearly
impacted by our position of social power and understanding this differential
of power is critical to understanding the dynamics of prejudicial behavior.
1. Arab and American auto- and heterostereotypes:
Arabs subjects identified typical American responses
better than the reverse.
Lindgren, Henry C.; Tebcherani, Amelia, Arab and American auto- and heterostereotypes:
A cross-cultural study of empathy
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1971 Jun Vol. 2(2) 173-180
2. The sensitivity of Black and White Americans to nonverbal
cues of prejudice
Both Black and White University students were asked
to judge the level of prejudice of individuals using only non verbal cues
while watching silent video tapes. Black students were found to be more able
to identify those with more prejudice than were the White students
Rollman, Steven A.
James Madison U
Journal of Social Psychology
1978 Jun Vol 105(1) 73-77
Understanding the conditions that encourage stereotyped thinking is key to
understanding how to reduce prejudices.
1. Stereotype Activation
There is a which showed that a population of White
men in NY who were shown either faces of White people or faces of Black people
subliminally while doing a frustrating computer task tended to be more irritable
if the face were Black. This was done with independent judges who were blind
to the color of the face on the video screen. Then each was measured by another
observer after having the computer "loose all their work." and again
they were more angry if the face had been Black.
The faces came at a speed that allowed only 2 out of 41 to know that they
had even seen a face and none of participants were aware of the color of the
face which had flashed on their computer screen. It seems that the evidence
is getting pretty strong that most prejudice is not decided at the moment
of behavior; but it is part of the perceptual stuff that is carried around.
Automaticity of Social Behavior: Direct Effects of Trait Construct and Stereotype
Activation on Action
John A. Bargh, Mark Chen, and Lara Burrows
New York University
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1996, Vol. 71, No. 2, 230-244,
2. Never Encourage People to Suppress Stereotype Thinking:
The evidence continues to pile up that we should
avoid the process of stereotype suppression. A recent study has shown that
the process simply makes the people more aware of the stereotyped behavior
and more likely to recall stereotyped behavior later. I continue to encourage
people to replace the stereotyped images with something more positive as a
first step but there are many other things
we can do.
I'm reminded of the first ethical principle for many helping professions that
says we should, "Do no harm." It seems that in the area of diversity
work we need to have everyone know what is harmful.
If you would like more information on this topic I would suggest the following
Sherman, Jeffrey W.; Stroessner, Steven J.; Loftus, Shay T.; Deguzman,
Glenn: Stereotype Suppression and Recognition Memory for Stereotypical and
Nonstereotypical Information : Social Cognition: 1997 Fal Vol 15(3) 205-Discrimination
here to return to the Beyond Prejudice home page, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Who Can Reduce Prejudicial Behavior
Reducing Prejudices within an Organization
Impacts of Prejudicial Behavior
Your Knowledge of Prejudices
FAQ, Alerts, ect.
Dynamics of Prejudicial Behavior
Your Own Prejudices
Connection to Others, the Earth and Future
Publications,Training Materials and Workshops
Your Prejudicial Behavior
Contacts and Credits