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Author Topic: Mechanisms of Prejudice: Hidden and Not Hidden  (Read 6444 times)

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The Hidden Mechanisms of Prejudice: Implicit Bias & Interpersonal Fluency by Alex Madva

This dissertation is about prejudice. In particular, it examines the theoretical and ethical questions raised by research on implicit social biases. Social biases are termed “implicit” when they are not reported, though they lie just beneath the surface of consciousness.
Such biases are easy to adopt but very difficult to introspect and control.

Despite this difficulty, I argue that we are personally responsible for our biases and obligated to overcome them if they can bring harm to ourselves or to others.

My dissertation addresses the terms of their removal. It is grounded in a comprehensive examination of empirical research and, as such, is a contribution to social psychology. Although implicit social biases significantly influence our judgment and action, they are not reducible to beliefs or desires. Rather, they constitute a class of their own.

Understanding their particular character is vital to determining how to replace them with more
preferable habits of mind. I argue for a model of interpersonal fluency, a kind of ethical
expertise that
requires transforming our underlying dispositions of thought, feeling, and action

The associations in our heads belong to us… The selves that we are and the selves we intend tobe are both us, and sometimes they do not agree. One might say that humans are large, containing multitudes. Full recognition of this fact raises serious questions for important issues of responsibility, culpability, and intentionality.
~ Brian Nosek and Robert Hansen (2008, 553, 591)

A 2004 study found that, after attending an all-women’s college for one year, female
undergraduates’ implicit attitudes regarding gender and leadership qualities were completely

Beforehand, participants were quicker to associate female names like “Emily” with
attributes stereotypical of female leaders, like “nurturing,” whereas they were quicker to
associate male names like “Greg” with attributes stereotypical of male leaders, like “assertive.”

After one year, these implicit biases vanished; they were no more likely to associate “Emily”
with nurturance than with assertiveness. The same study also found that attending a coed
university had the opposite effect on female undergraduates.

After one year, they were even more likely to associate “Greg” with assertiveness. What accounts for the difference? The mediating factor was not, the evidence suggests, a supportive or encouraging atmosphere. The difference evidently boiled down to the total number of classes that students had taken with female math and science professors, that is, with female professors in historically maledominated fields.

In fact, a closer look at the data showed that this was true regardless of which institution they attended. What’s just as striking is the fact that neither group showed any changes in their reflective, self-reported beliefs about women, nurturance, and leadership.

Before as well as after, at both schools, participants consistently claimed that women possess more supportive qualities than leadership ones.  :( ???

This first part is about gender roles. Wait until we get to judging (i.e. "pre"  ;)) the level of threat in the behavior of same or other races (hint: the behavior, look, stance, clothing, etc. doesn't have BEANS to do with it and RACE has EVERYTHING to do with it.).

Those "parent tapes" are hard to MODIFY, aren't they?  
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.. -- Psalm 34:6


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