Prejudice to some category, such as sex, race, religion,

Prejudice can be observed in all aspects of life and is especially relevant in America today. It is important to make the distinction of what prejudice is and define it in order to discuss its different components. Prejudice is defined as the “preconceived notions about a person or group of people on the basis of their assignment to some category, such as sex, race, religion, or appearance” (Gunderman, 2012). Exposure to prejudice can affect an individual’s overall health and well being, so it is imperative to understand that prejudice exists and is pervasive throughout much of society whether consciously exhibited or not (Pascoe & Richman, 2009). Before delving into the unique aspects of prejudice, there is value in looking at its origins.Prejudice exists in order to simplify much of the information we take in on a daily basis (Blair, 2002). Based off of past experiences, what is observed and talked about from a young age, we make assumptions about almost everything we see from race to gender (Olson & Fazio, 2006). Beyond its origins, prejudice is built from implicit and explicit thoughts and behaviors. Implicit prejudice is automatic biases that (mostly) conflict with an individual’s non prejudiced values and thoughts (Devine, 2001). These implicit stereotypes are often gained by noticing things as a child and they strengthen as you grow older. Explicit prejudice is the slow and intentional thought of biases that operates in a conscious mode; It is the expression of internalized implicit attitudes formed towards certain groups or people (Akrami & Ekehammar, 2005). Both implicit and explicit prejudice play a role in the largely seen discrimination throughout the United States and the rest of the world.Reducing Racial PrejudiceThe pervasiveness of prejudice and stereotypes around the world gives way to the question: how can people consciously put forth an effort to avoid and reduce implicit and explicit prejudices? Specifically looking at racial prejudice, the following information explores different racial prejudice reduction strategies. There are many different theories on what the best method is in order to reduce prejudice and stereotypical behavior, but an overarching theme is the concept of awareness. If you are aware of when certain biases might take effect and what they might convey, then you can employ certain methods to combat the explicit behavior of stereotyping. As stated before, implicit prejudice is the automatic biases you don’t have control over and are often expressed (explicitly) as the stereotypes and discrimination rampant throughout parts of our society (Devine, 2001). A somewhat recent method of measuring our implicit biases come from a test called the Implicit Association Test (IAT) which has a wide variety of tests from measuring implicit thoughts about race all the way to religion. Although it has been widely accepted by many scientists, there are still some concerns about the tests implications and how people view implicit prejudice (Devine, 2001). Recently, it has been incorporated into studies as a measure of implicit prejudice and is able to help provide more accurate results when trying to reduce racial prejudice. The use of Implicit Association Tests can be highlighted through many studies trying to reduce prejudice, however, some better exemplify the possible outcomes from using them. In a study conducted by Rudman, Ashmore, & Gary in 2001, IATs were used as the benchmarking tool for before and after a prejudice and conflict seminar. In this experiment two teachers: one white female teacher (the control group) and one black male teacher (the experimental group) taught a 14-week semester class (Rudman, Ashmore, & Gary, 2001). All of the students took a IAT before the class started, which acted as a bench marker for their biases, and another IAT after the class to compare to their benchmark. When looking at the white students only and comparing the control and experimental groups, there is a significant decrease in their prejudice and stereotype IAT scores for those in the experimental group (Rudman, Ashmore, & Gary, 2001). This change was observed because of the difference in teaching methods and their exposure to class discussions designed to cultivate respect for diversity. This is just one of the many studies using Implicit Association Tests in order to measure reduction of implicit prejudice and stereotypes.There are many other studies using different methods when trying to reduce implicit racial prejudice and stereotypes. In a study by Olson & Fazio, the idea of evaluative conditioning (EC) in cohesion with the thought that you can reduce implicit racial prejudice is explored. Evaluative conditioning (EC) is a change in preference of something which comes from positive or negative associations (Olson & Fazio, 2006). Many scientists assume that because evidence has shown that racial prejudices develop early in life, they are hard to change; however, Olson & Fazio, after being influenced by an experiment showing that these automatic prejudices can be changed, came up with the following experiment. Participants came in with the understanding that they would be participating in two unrelated studies. For the first part they were introduced to the procedure as a study looking at attention and rapid responses. The procedure was to look at images flashed on the screen by themselves or in pairs where they were to be vigilant for certain images when they popped up. This first part was completed in six blocks, each with their own target item specified. When the target item did appear or was described the participant was tasked with pressing a button. After all of these trails were completed they filled out an estimation task in order to see whether they noticed certain pairings on a scale of -2 (I didn’t see them paired together) to +2 (I did see them paired together). Throughout that task, critical conditioned stimulus–unconditioned stimulus pairs were interspersed. On an evaluation task, participants evaluated the CS paired with positive items more favorably than the CS paired with negative items on both an explicit and implicit measure (Olson & Fazio, 2006). These methods highlight some of the techniques used when trying to reduce implicit automatic thought and prejudices. Researchers had the goal of changing automatic associations through a unconscious learning mechanism, if successful it suggests that these attitudes may be more readily changed than previously thought (Olson & Fazio, 2006). Furthermore this experiment had the intention to find a social influence technique for altering Whites’ implicit attitudes toward Blacks (Olson & Fazio, 2006). This study’s findings concluded that Explicit prejudice is the expression of internalized implicit attitudes formed towards certain groups or people (Akrami & Ekehammar, 2005). Many studies today prioritize looking at different concepts and reduction strategies for implicit prejudice because blatant explicit prejudice is not seen as much as it used to; however, there are a few experiments and studies that effectively look at explicit prejudice. In this 6 part study, researchers introduced the study to participants as a “language and memory”. In the first part, participants were asked to press a button on a keyboard labeled either positive or negative when either a positive or negative word was flashed on the screen. This part of the experiment was to obtain baseline data for the other sections. In the second part of the study, participants were tasked with a face-memory-test where they were shown 16 images of faces (immigrants or Swedish people). This was done to have them memorize the faces for later in the study. The third part of this study was a recognition test of the previously shown faces in phase 2, where 16 more faces were added. Participants were told to press the key saying “yes” or “no” when looking at faces and distinguish whether they were in the last batch. The fourth phase of this study (meant as a priming phase) was a combination of language and a memory task where the participants looked at 48 faces (not used in the previous phases) with words (from the first phase) associated at random to each face. They did this four times and each time the adjectives were shown with a face, two negatively associated and two positively associated which acted as a priming tool. The fifth part of this study was a recognition test of the previously shown faces and participants were asked to answer yes or no on the keyboard if they had previously seen them. The “final” phase was an attractiveness rating of the faces shown in phase four from a scale of 1 (not attractive) to 10 (very attractive). This was the last advertised section of the study, however, they were drawn in by experimenters to complete the last section of the experiment. In this additional phase participants were told this was for a different study and were given a Modern Racial Prejudice Scale and a version of the Motivation to Control Prejudiced Reactions Scale. The results of the study concluded that people with high modern ethnic prejudice had a strong negative correlation to motivation on to control prejudiced reactions (the association). This provides us with the further understanding that a key to decreasing implicit and explicit prejudices in society may lay with our ability to motivate individuals to want to decrease their prejudices (the association).Another example of a study that looked at explicit prejudice in relation to stereotyping and prejudice in general is by Mcconnell & Leibold done in 2001. The following study was done in order to explore how the Implicit Association Test (IAT) relates to individuals intergroup behavior and explicit attitudes (Mcconnell & Leibold, 2001). Participants in the study, when participating, were under the impression of it being four unrelated tasks, unaware of being video taped and their voices being recorded. The study started with an interview of the participant where they were asked four (innocuous) questions supposedly for the psychology department. This was done to measure their body language and interaction with the white experimenter. They were then asked to fill out a booklet about future studies but (not to their knowledge) were also filling out information to help assess their implicit prejudices and were reassured that it was confidential. After completing the booklet and dropping in a box after it was sealed, participants were brought to a computer workstation where the “word perception” experiment (actually an IAT) was completed. During this time the white experimenter said their shift was up and a new experimenter (a Black female) met them after they were done with the IAT. The experimenter and the participant then went back to the original room where they could be recorded and again was asked (seven) questions about the experiment. They were then briefed on the actual experiment. This study concluded that there were substantial relationships between the IAT and explicit measures of prejudice. Specifically, through the video footage their behavior and actions were thoroughly reviewed alongside with their results from the booklet and the IAT. The cohesion of these results allowed them to come to the conclusion that the IAT and discriminatory behavior do indeed have a link and that there is also links between the IAT and explicit measures of prejudice.Social Influence on PrejudiceHumans are able to make judgements about people almost instantly based off of context in social situations. An example might be if an individual is asking for directions, the person being asked makes judgements based off their accent and clothing about whether they are a local or a tourist (Lowery, Hardin, & Sinclair, 2001). From this information, you would adjust your answer by replying with a local landmark, if they are local and know the area, or a famous landmark, that non-locals would know (Lowery, Hardin, & Sinclair, 2001). This is applicable to racial prejudice and was shown in a study done in 1991 where the participants were influenced by a confederate. The participants were told to orally report how they thought their school should respond to anonymous racist notes. The confederate, who walked up to the interviewer at the same time as the participant and was asked to do the same thing, went first saying one of three things: a anti-racist response, a neutral response, or a lesser anti-racist response (Blanchard, Lilly, & Vaughn, 1991). This study resulted in the normative response (strongly anti-racist remarks) greatly affecting the participants answer and a stark difference was seen when comparing correlations of the normative response compared to the unfavorable responses (neutral or least anti-racist remarks). These examples help exemplify the effect social situations can have when dealing with prejudice. As exhibit before, social situations have influence on an individual’s implicit and explicit decisions regarding prejudice. Furthermore, there have been studies looking at the differences in social power dynamics and their outcomes related to prejudice. In one study, participants were assigned to read a perform a task, read an article, and provide feedback. Each participant was shown faces along with words on a mock lexical task which was meant to prime their thinking.  The primes were White or Black male or female (faces only) and half of the 96 images had words. 24 of those words were related to intelligence meant to induce subtle stereotype biases. The experiment was explained to them and the participants were shown fake statistics on the test they just took, giving them the impression they were very stereotypical in that part of the experiment. Next, participants were given a article written by a researcher for feedback (which acted as the second part of confrontation) titled “Are You Part of the Problem?” In this article it confronts the individual participants by stating that (1) racial/sexist biases assessed in the task can exist without conscious stereotype background, (2) there biases can lead to people “like you” to discriminate in subtle but harmful ways, and (3) if you are a part of the problem, you should create positive change by changing your own biases (Gulker, Mark, & Monteith, 2013). Generally, the participants found nothing strange and took it on themselves as somewhat real criticism after filling out a questionnaire and being debriefed. This study along helps to highlight the possibility of confrontation impacting aspects of racial prejudice and stereotypes.Research ProposalRationale and Empirical Questions This proposed study is aimed at testing how long confronting prejudice or stereotypical behavior in cohesion with guilt and rumination can extend the time of reduced prejudice seen in numerous past studies. How effectively can confrontation and an individual’s guilt prolong the behavioral inhibition of prejudice and stereotyping when compared to individual’s (control group) who is not confronted? Beyond simple confrontation, does the method of confrontation matter and how important is it to the extension of time when looking at behavioral inhibition? Materials and Participant Selection This study is looking at different aspects of individual’s behavior and responses after being confronted by an experimenter with different levels of aggression. The participants will be selected from NU psylink as the experiment will give students who participate credit for their class(es). The experiment requires numerous computer tests starting with stereotype application task, followed by an affect measurement survey which are both completed in the first session (S1) of this experiment. In the second session (S2) of the experiment, participants are asked to complete a modified version of the initial stereotype application task and fill out an additional question to measure their rumination.Study Design Following a procedure adapted from Chaney and Sanchez, this experiment will be broken up into two parts: the first session (S1) and the second session (S2) (Chaney & Sanchez, 2017). Both of these session are under the guise of a memory and inference study with two parts. In S1 participants will take a stereotype application task where they are shown a series of (16) images of White and Black men and women accompanied by a descriptive sentence. While being shown these images paired with sentences, participants will be asked to make a judgement about that person and say it outloud for an experimenter to record their voices through a computer. Three of the images paired with Black male faces are accompanied by descriptive sentences meant to elicit stereotypical responses from the participants. All participants will be randomly assigned to either the control group (no confrontation) or the experimental group (confrontation) where an experimenter approaches them and says one of two things in different ways. Within the experimental group there are also two other categories pertaining to how the experimenter confronts them: aggressive or neutral. For the neutral group, the experimenter will say: “I thought some of your answers seemed a little offensive. The Black guy wandering the streets could be a lost tourist. People shouldn’t use stereotypes, you know?” (Source). For the aggressive group the experimenter will say, “I thought a couple of your answers were offensive. The Black guy wandering the street doesn’t have to be dangerous. Stereotyping isn’t acceptable in any form.” This is to see if there is any difference in the longevity of their behavior inhibition regarding stereotypes and prejudice. After they are done with the stereotype application task, participants are then asked to rate their experience so far from 15 affective words presented to them, also with a filler task. Each word is accompanied by a scale from 1 (does not apply to me) to 7 (applies very much). One week later, they are sent an email for a survey where they will complete a short modified version of the stereotype application task and a measure of rumination (how often they thought about the confrontation over the one week break period).Hypothesized Results I hypothesize that individuals who were confronted, either aggressively or neutrally, will report more self-negative feelings on the effect questions and ruminate more over the one week period than those who were not confronted. More specifically, I predict that of those who were confronted aggressively for their stereotypical comments, more will report a sense of guilt and rumination than those approached neutrally. However, the individuals who were confronted about their comments neutrally will show significantly more guilt and rumination in the following week than those not confronted.ConclusionsPrejudice is a far reaching problem that affects everyone and is important to understand when trying to address racial relations. Implicit and explicit prejudices have an affect on everything we do and thus it is important to understand how they work and what causes them. Throughout scientific research there have been countless papers looking for answers to questions and solutions for problems surround the idea that implicit and explicit prejudices can be damaging to the groups discriminated against. Many theories have brought up tactics like confrontation and awareness to negate both implicit and explicit prejudices and stereotypes. Using the information compiled by different studies looking at different aspects of prejudice and automatic