Social Psychology Discussion Question #9

1. Do you think that stereotyping is part of the “natural human inclination” to put items into categories (such as labeling chairs as furniture or dogs as animals), or do you feel that when people stereotype entire groups, they are labeling things that they don’t really understand in a meaningful way (sort of like labeling a TV “a computer” because both have “power” buttons)? Do you think that stereotyping is part of the “natural human inclination” to put items into categories (such as labeling chairs as furniture or dogs as animals), or do you feel that when people stereotype entire groups, they are labeling things that they don’t really understand in a meaningful way (sort of like labeling a TV “a computer” because both have “power” buttons)?

2. In a standardized test situation, which students’ performances were most depressed when a stereotype that affected them was activated? Why?

3. Are there any benefits to “disidentification?” Could educators harvest these benefits to improve students’ performance?

4.  Explain the process in a society by which one group is targeted for violence.

5. While few of us can imagine being part of a conflict that has resulted in genocidal behavior, all of us have had times where we felt that we have been wronged by someone. What do you think about Staub’s model of healing these wounds (punishing violent perpetrators balancing evil acts with positive acts, acknowledgment and expressing sorrow and regret, a sense of justice)? Would these actions have repaired the wrongs in your life? Why or why not? What would you add to the list to enable healing and forgiveness to occur in the presence of overwhelming atrocities?

 
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