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The influence of prejudice and stereotypes on anticipated affect : feelings about a potentially negative interaction with another ethnic group

  • Journal Title: South African Journal of Psychology
  • Volume: Volume 38
  • Issue:  Issue 4
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 589  - 601
  • Authors:  Ernestine Gordijn;  Gillian Finchilescu;  Louise Brix;  Nienke Wijnants;  Willem Koomen;
  • ISSN: 00812463
  • Abstract:  In this research we investigated whether feelings about an imagined potentially negative interaction with a member of another ethnic group was affected more by valence than content of stereotypes, and whether the differential influence of perception and meta-perception was similar for dominant and dominated groups within a given society. Prejudice, cultural stereotypes and meta-stereotypes were measured for both the dominant and the subordinate group, white and black South Africans, respectively. We found that prejudice was related to the perception of a more negative cultural stereotype of the other ethnic group, and to the perception of a more positive meta-stereotype of one's own ethnic group. However, this latter result was found only for the dominant group. Furthermore, for both the dominant and the subordinate groups, prejudice predicted more negative than positive feelings. For the subordinate group, a more negative cultural stereotype predicted more anxiety-related feelings, and a more negative meta-stereotype predicted less happy feelings about such an interaction. For the dominant group, stereotypes were not predictive of feelings about the interaction. Overall, the relationship between stereotypes, prejudice, and feelings appears to be based on valence rather than on specific content of the stereotypes.
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