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Role of affect and thoughts in prejudice

Prejudice is an intriguing subject in social psychology. Most studies concentrate on its cognitive and communal representations and almost never do people spot the significance of affect in prejudice. In this essay, the focus of interest is on have an impact on and emotions as a theoretical foundation in understanding prejudice. The role of thoughts in intergroup techniques and prejudice is explored, in conjunction with the dialogue on the antecedents, characteristics, and effects of intergroup emotions, which is illustrated by the specificity of intergroup thoughts and its causing behavioral tendencies. The partnership between intergroup sentiment and intergroup forgiveness also shed light on devising ways of reduce prejudice.

Prejudice is a preconceived judgment towards a group and its associates (Myers, 2010). This analysis can be either positive or negative. Within the intergroup framework, prejudice is a group-based attitude elicited by intergroup relationship (Smith, 1993). Relating to ABCs of behaviour, Myers claims that attitude is composed by affect (thoughts), behavior tendency (inclination to act) and cognition (values). Affect performs an important role in prejudice (attitude). To differentiate prejudice, discrimination and stereotype basically, prejudice can be an frame of mind, discrimination is a behavior, and stereotype is a perception towards a group and its individual associates. They intertwine with each other. Prejudice and stereotype are neutral in comparison to discrimination which often identifies negative behavior related to prejudicial behaviour.

To study intergroup processes, sentiment is narrowed down to intergroup sentiment while teams are split into ingroups and outrgoups. Intergroup sentiment is an feeling in the intergroup framework. It includes thoughts experienced towards one's own group and feelings felt on the outgroup. The role of emotions in intergroup operations lies in emotions provoking people's reactions and responses to outgroups, which in turn affects intergroup relationships.

The antecedents of intergroup feelings are (1) group membership, (2) intergroup interactions and (3) appraisals. First of all, group account can be discussed by self-categorization theory, self-discrepancy theory and communal identity theory. Based on the self-categorization theory (Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher & Wetherell, 1987), people explain themselves in personal conditions and in conditions of group memberships in the public framework. When people identify themselves as group customers, this ingroup account becomes part of the self; this extended social home (group) makes group membership and intergroup interactions evoke emotional replies (Mackie & Smith, 2002). Based on the self-discrepancy theory, people often match their real self with the ideal home and ought self. The greater the discrepancy between your matches, the higher the psychological pain. This is an emotion noticed towards one's home and group. Mackie and Smith think that negative emotions are aroused when people understand the characteristics of their ingroup do not match those they wish or believe that their ingroup ought to hold. Mackie and Smith give examples of dejection-related emotions including dissatisfaction, disappointment, sadness and hopelessness while agitation-related feelings include apprehension, nervousness, pressure, threatenedness and uneasiness. Social personal information theory (Brown, 2000) proposes ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation. In other words, ingroup love may stretch to outgroup hatred. Ingroup identification can give surge to hostile reactions to outgroups in forms of prejudice and discrimination. This illustrates an feelings one felt to the outgroup. Social Id Theory can be an exemplory case of ingroup bias resulting from one's purpose to improve self-esteem by increasing the positivity of ingroups and the negativity of outgroups. Another manifestation of intergroup bias is realistic discord theory, an ingroup bias which is due to hostility in response to a competitive and threatening outgroup (Shah, Brazy &Higgins, 2002). The regulatory and affective needs are fulfilled through ingroup bias.

Secondly, intergroup discussion is antecedent to intergroup emotions. The nature of specific interactions between groups works as a source of differentiated affective reactions (Mackie & Smith, 2002). For instance, connections that produce positive have an effect on can promote the liking of further discussion with outgroup users. This shows the nature of connections between teams as a determinant of emotions. This is further explored in the following debate on intergroup relationships.

Thirdly, appraisals are also antecedent to intergroup emotions. Devos, Magic, Mackie and Smith (2002) illustrate the appraisal theories of sentiment as a predicament or a meeting can result in emotions when the individual concerns, goals and motives are favored or harmed. Appraisals are a construction of cognitions or beliefs, which triggers emotions. Ingroup thoughts are triggered by group-based appraisals. For example, if the social id or integrity of the ingroup is threatened by the outgroup, the ingroup customers may experience anxiety and stress. Appraisals cause thoughts, which in turn match its specific action tendencies.

The nature of intergroup thoughts is based on intergroup relationships. Intergroup relations can be exemplified by integrated menace theory and image theory. Integrated threat theory reflects the role of threat in intergroup relationships. Stephan and Renfro (2002) give attention to four types of threat-realistic threats, symbolic risks, intergroup stress and negative stereotyping. Natural threats are hazards to the group welfare including hazards to the ingroup wellbeing. Stephan and Renfro (2002) propose that the concept of realistic threats comes from realistic group turmoil theory, which argues that competition for limited resources supplying surge to outgroup prejudice so genuine risks can have a broader denotation signifying any danger to the group welfare, not just competition for limited resources. Symbolic danger is an intangible risk to the ingroup beliefs and beliefs. Regarding to Dovidio and Gaertner (1996), intergroup anxiety includes distress, apprehension, fear and disgust due to the expectation of negative results in intergroup connections. Stephan and Renfro (2002) think that there are negative subconscious effects (embarrassment), negative behavioral outcomes (exploitation or physical damage) and negative evaluations by the both ingroup and outgroup participants. Negative stereotypes are simplifications and guidelines for social connections leading people think the outgroup behaves detrimentally to the ingroup. Inside the integrated theory, the aforementioned four threats are believed to cause outgroup prejudice, which include negative affect associated with outgroups arousing negative emotions like dislike, disapproval and hatred towards outgroup. Stephan and Renfro (2002) assume that the antecedents of dangers stem from strong recognition with the ingroup, repeated negative contact with outgroup customers, disparities in the position of the two organizations and ignorance of the outgroup.

On the flip aspect, the image theory represents intergroup emotions on the basis of relationship habits and outgroup images. Relationship pattern are identified in terms of goal compatibility, position equality and electric power equality. Thus, an outgroup image is developed corresponding to the relationship pattern, thus arousing specific intergroup thoughts and behavioral orientation.

There are two symmetric images where in fact the two groups involved understand the intergroup relations just as. Brewer and Alexander (2002) illustrate adversary image as an extreme competition between two groupings similar in electric power and status with incompatible goals. This intergroup romantic relationship produces a sense of danger. This arouses an influence of anger and prompts a behavioral tendency to eliminate the menace by containment or harm. Ally image is characterized with goal compatibility, equivalent status and power between groupings (Brewer & Alexander, 2002). This produces an image of nonthreatening with positive qualities. Hence, feelings like admiration and trust are generated and it helps the behavioral inclination of intergroup cooperation.

Apart from the aforesaid, there are asymmetric associations having mutually incompatible intergroup goal interdependence and various in ability and status. Barbarian image comes up when the relationship has incompatible goals with the ingroup having lower position but higher electricity. The outgroup is then viewed as evil and dangerous. Affects like fear and intimidation will tend to be experienced by the ingroup so its behavioral orientation will take up a defensive protection. When the ingroup is weaker and low in position, sentiments like jealousy and resentment towards outgroup are elicited. Behavioral orientation like amount of resistance or rebellion is expected. This associates with the imperialist image.

Expressing and decoding feelings also play a part in intergroup relationships. Emotional relationships between people require sensing, expressing and perceiving (Leyens, Demoulin, Desert, Vaes & Philipot, 2002). If one of the above mentioned goes wrong, intergroup relations may very well be jeopardized and prejudice will arise. Limited expressions and decoding of feelings may harm the intergroup interaction, leading to reciprocal misunderstandings at the level of feeling, expressing and perceiving. Such misunderstanding makes ingroup customers dread, prevent or reject following encounters with outgroup members. Hence, a vicious routine is formed and it reinforces existing prejudice and discrimination.

Based on the aforementioned dialogue on the antecedents and characteristics of intergroup thoughts, people experience emotions with respect to their own group as they see themselves as a group member while others as fellow group users. These feelings make people express specific behavioral tendencies like collective action, effort in improvement of the intergroup relations and so forth. Prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination are also implications of intergroup emotions. Specific emotions also correspond to different patterns of behavioral tendencies. Action tendency refers to the impulses or inclinations toward a particular action. In the intergroup framework, group-based appraisals of the situation or event often induce specific intergroup thoughts, which trigger particular action tendencies and promote certain conducts. Relating to Devos, Metallic, Mackie and Smith (2002), fear and anxiety prompt ingroup members to keep away from the outgroup while anger creates a motivation to attack or aggress the outgroup; disgust and contempt result in avoidance and separation while resentment and annoyance spark off level of resistance and actions from the outgroup. These behavioral tendencies derive from intergroup feelings.

The specificity of intergroup thoughts and behavioral tendencies can be explained by Intergroup Feelings Theory (IET). IET is grounded on self-categorization-the mental representations of self and group. When group membership is rooted in the self-concept, individuals value situations and situations concerning the group. This demonstates the mental significance in intergroup situations. Relating to Devos, Metallic, Mackie and Smith (2002), ingroup people often develop dread towards a threatening and powerful outgroup; group conflicts generate anger; annoyance turns up when the goals and actions of ingroup are obstructed by outgroup. An outgroup violating moral benchmarks breeds disgust. Resentment results on discovering outgroup enjoying underserved benefits. Specific inclinations of behavior t follow suit. Anger and aggravation cause resistance and aggression. Dread can prompt ingroup cover and escape from the disadvantaged situation. Disgust and contempt deter relationships with an outgroup. Mackie and Smith (2002) believe there is a restriction for predicting related actions. The prediction can only just be an action inclination rather than concrete patterns because actual behaviours are constrained by situational factors and sociable norms. Action tendencies are deduced from influences and emotions to allow them to only signify an impulse or purpose of activities. Mackie and Smith provided an example proclaiming the constraint of situation factors concerning the presence of any outgroup or the opportinity for the ingroup to act accordingly. Further exemplory case of sociable norms is that an ingroup having an inclination to harm and aggress the outgroup cannot display their aggression and act out credited to interpersonal sanctions. Mackie and Smith claim that an action propensity can be fulfilled by different cement behaviors. For instance, aggression can be elicited in terms of verbal hostility or physical hostility, which can prompt many other different concrete behaviors.

On the other side, the relationship between intergroup emotions and intergroup forgiveness is worthy-of-note. Noor, Dark brown and Prentice (2008) define intergroup forgiveness as a process which involves making the decision to learn new aspects about one-self and one's group-one's feelings, thoughts, and capability to inflict harm on others. This representation on intergroup thoughts and intergroup relationships does not signify to devalue the severity and results of misdeeds, but to invert the negativity of have an effect on between the teams. Intergroup thoughts play an important role in the determination to engage in forgiveness. Thoughts like pity, guilt and sympathy can melt people's heart of rock and motivate them to forgive. Experiencing empathy (compassion and sympathy) for an individual outgroup member can produce more positive behaviour towards the outgroup as a whole, thereby enabling forgiveness. Nevertheless, the willingness to forgive is difficult to achieve at the group level. Noor, Dark brown and Prentice (2008) demonstrate that some group people may be happy to forgive the outgroup nevertheless they might withhold or withdraw their forgiveness in concern with shaking their ingroup commitment.

The above correlation between intergroup emotions and intergroup forgiveness sheds light on devising strategies to reduce prejudice. Intergroup forgiveness is seen as an essential step towards reconciliation. Intergroup reconciliation is much more than turmoil quality and the cessation of issue. Intergroup forgiveness can inspire the ingroup to see the entire world from the outgroup's point of view and standpoint with the goal to clarify misunderstandings, address common concerns and eliminate prejudice.

The role of contact in lowering prejudice lies in promoting positive affects and intergroup friendship. Mackie and Smith (2002) discover that the number of acquaintances has an effect on prejudice, which is significantly mediated by prejudice. Their research evaluation discovers that acquaintances reduced negative feelings and increased positive thoughts, both of which reduced prejudice. Mackie and Smith discover that the closeness of the partnership can significantly reduce prejudice when members are aware of different group regular membership.

Oskamp (2000) proposes the motivational procedure of reducing emotions of hazard from an outgroup, demonstrating that the final results of ingroups and outgroups are interdependent, and accentuating that each individual is accountable for intergroup events. This strategy corresponds to the Integrated Menace Theory and tackles some of the antecedents of danger like disparities in the position of both categories. An antecedent of risk like recurrent negative contact with outgroup people can be tackled by promoting favorable and worthwhile intergroup contact to reduce prejudice. Another antecedent of threat like ignorance of the outgroup can be compensated through the elimination of misunderstandings. This involves the appropriate appearance and decoding of feelings between groups. Due to the illusion of transparency, most folks have an impression that their appearance of emotions is especially clear for outgroups, nonetheless they are in fact less accurately identified. This communication difference hinders advantageous intergroup contact and reinforces existing prejudice. Hence, ingroup users might need to pay extra work to show their emotions to outgroupers to prevent prejudice. Myers (2010) suggests we may use guilt to encourage ourselves to break the prejudice behavior. It is appropriate in terms of collective guilt which urges collective action portion to change existing intergroup relationships, correct previous injustices and reduce ongoing inequality. As unequal status breeds prejudice, seeking cooperative and equal-status relationships can lessen prejudice (Myers, 2010). The antecedent of threat-strong recognition with the ingroup contributes to ingroup bias (intergroup bias). This bias can be reduced by fostering a sense of owed with outgroup users to fulfill people's affective needs. This corresponds to your understanding of the social personal information theory that explains ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation. This sense of belonging arouses positive emotions of love, support and liking, in order to reduce negative prejudice.

To summary, the role of affect and thoughts in prejudice cannot be underestimated. It is significant to grasp an understanding of correlations and causal interactions among affect, emotions, intergroup procedures, intergroup feelings, behavioral tendencies, intergroup forgiveness and prejudice. With these understandings, affective facet of prejudice can eventually be tackled and reduced.

(2500 words)

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