Research showed that majority members hold negative metastereotypes, which have detrimental effects on intergroup attitudes and behaviors especially among low-prejudiced people (Vorauer & Turpie, 2004). Hironically, the activation of metastereotypes can lead those with more prejudice to behave more positively and being perceived more favorably by the outgroup, compared to low-prejudiced individuals (Vorauer, 2005). Surprisingly, scholars did not take into consideration the activation of positive metastereotypes. To assess metastereotypes in the Italian context, we first conducted a Pilot study, where Italian high-school and undergraduate students completed open-ended measures indicating positive and negative traits potentially relevant for the metastereotype of Italians and the stereotype of immigrants with African origins. Then, we carried out a study, where Italian high-school students evaluated each of the 97 traits obtained in the Pilot, by indicating the percentage of: (a) immigrants with African origins thinking that Italians possess the trait; (b) immigrants with African origins thinking that immigrants with African origins possess the trait; (c) Italians thinking that immigrants with African origins possess the trait; (d) Italians thinking that Italians possess the trait. Participants also reported their level of prejudice toward immigrants with African origins, and the extent they thought they would be personally stereotyped in a hypothetical encounter with a same-sex unknown immigrant. Results showed that participants endorsed both a positive and a negative metastereotype (we calculated a diagnostic ratio by dividing, for each trait, participants’ responses concerning the percentage of immigrants with African origins thinking that Italians possess the trait by the percentage of immigrants with African origins thinking that immigrants with African origins possess the trait: traits included in the metastereotype are those for which the diagnostic ratio differs from 1); they also expressed a positive and a negative other-stereotype of immigrants (we calculated a diagnostic ratio by dividing, for each trait, participants’ responses concerning the percentage of Italians thinking that immigrants with African origins possess the trait by the percentage of Italians thinking that Italians possess the trait: traits included in the other-stereotype are those for which the diagnostic ratio differs from 1). Participants tended to have a positive rather than a negative personalized metastereotype. Prejudice correlated positively with the index of positive metastereotypes, suggesting that the less individuals are prejudiced, the less they feel they will be stereotyped positively by the outgroup. Although the latter finding is in seeming contradiction with Vorauer, Main, and O’Connell’s (1998) results, we also observed, consistent with these authors, a negative correlation between prejudice and a general negative metastereotype (we coded all metastereotype traits so that higher scores represent a more negative metastereotype), indicating that low-prejudiced, compared to high-prejudiced, feel that their group is stereotyped by the outgroup more negatively. Not surprisingly, stronger prejudice was also associated with a more negative other-stereotype of immigrants. In conclusion, our results suggest the existence of both a positive and a negative metastereotype. Whereas previous research suggests that less prejudiced people are more afraid to be stereotyped negatively, our findings indicate that this effect is driven by positive metastereotypes. In other words, low-prejudiced do not perceive they will stereotyped by immigrants more negatively; rather, they think they will be stereotyped less positively. Positive metastereotypes are not just the opposite of negative metastereotypes. In general, it is likely that, the less people are prejudiced, the more they are afraid of being stereotyped, positively and negatively, during an interracial encounter.

Positive and negative metastereotypes: Effects on intergroup relations / Giovannini, Dino; Vezzali, Loris. - STAMPA. - (2011), pp. 271-272.

Positive and negative metastereotypes: Effects on intergroup relations

GIOVANNINI, Dino;VEZZALI, Loris
2011

Abstract

Research showed that majority members hold negative metastereotypes, which have detrimental effects on intergroup attitudes and behaviors especially among low-prejudiced people (Vorauer & Turpie, 2004). Hironically, the activation of metastereotypes can lead those with more prejudice to behave more positively and being perceived more favorably by the outgroup, compared to low-prejudiced individuals (Vorauer, 2005). Surprisingly, scholars did not take into consideration the activation of positive metastereotypes. To assess metastereotypes in the Italian context, we first conducted a Pilot study, where Italian high-school and undergraduate students completed open-ended measures indicating positive and negative traits potentially relevant for the metastereotype of Italians and the stereotype of immigrants with African origins. Then, we carried out a study, where Italian high-school students evaluated each of the 97 traits obtained in the Pilot, by indicating the percentage of: (a) immigrants with African origins thinking that Italians possess the trait; (b) immigrants with African origins thinking that immigrants with African origins possess the trait; (c) Italians thinking that immigrants with African origins possess the trait; (d) Italians thinking that Italians possess the trait. Participants also reported their level of prejudice toward immigrants with African origins, and the extent they thought they would be personally stereotyped in a hypothetical encounter with a same-sex unknown immigrant. Results showed that participants endorsed both a positive and a negative metastereotype (we calculated a diagnostic ratio by dividing, for each trait, participants’ responses concerning the percentage of immigrants with African origins thinking that Italians possess the trait by the percentage of immigrants with African origins thinking that immigrants with African origins possess the trait: traits included in the metastereotype are those for which the diagnostic ratio differs from 1); they also expressed a positive and a negative other-stereotype of immigrants (we calculated a diagnostic ratio by dividing, for each trait, participants’ responses concerning the percentage of Italians thinking that immigrants with African origins possess the trait by the percentage of Italians thinking that Italians possess the trait: traits included in the other-stereotype are those for which the diagnostic ratio differs from 1). Participants tended to have a positive rather than a negative personalized metastereotype. Prejudice correlated positively with the index of positive metastereotypes, suggesting that the less individuals are prejudiced, the less they feel they will be stereotyped positively by the outgroup. Although the latter finding is in seeming contradiction with Vorauer, Main, and O’Connell’s (1998) results, we also observed, consistent with these authors, a negative correlation between prejudice and a general negative metastereotype (we coded all metastereotype traits so that higher scores represent a more negative metastereotype), indicating that low-prejudiced, compared to high-prejudiced, feel that their group is stereotyped by the outgroup more negatively. Not surprisingly, stronger prejudice was also associated with a more negative other-stereotype of immigrants. In conclusion, our results suggest the existence of both a positive and a negative metastereotype. Whereas previous research suggests that less prejudiced people are more afraid to be stereotyped negatively, our findings indicate that this effect is driven by positive metastereotypes. In other words, low-prejudiced do not perceive they will stereotyped by immigrants more negatively; rather, they think they will be stereotyped less positively. Positive metastereotypes are not just the opposite of negative metastereotypes. In general, it is likely that, the less people are prejudiced, the more they are afraid of being stereotyped, positively and negatively, during an interracial encounter.
Social Perception Cognition and Language in honour of Arcuri
9788861296992
Coop. Libraria Editrice Università di Padova
ITALIA
Positive and negative metastereotypes: Effects on intergroup relations / Giovannini, Dino; Vezzali, Loris. - STAMPA. - (2011), pp. 271-272.
Giovannini, Dino; Vezzali, Loris
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