Pigeonholing Essay, Research Paper
Pigeonholing is a signifier of pre judgement that is as prevalent in today & # 8217 ; s society as it was 2000 old ages ago. It is a societal attitude that has stood the trial of clip and received much attending by societal psychologists and philosophers likewise. Many attacks excessively, or theories of pigeonholing have therefore been raised. My paper will try to measure the cognitive procedure that necessarily leads to pigeonholing. Hamilton ( 1979 ) calls this a & # 8216 ; dejecting quandary & # 8217 ; .
Brown & # 8217 ; s ( 1995 ) definition of pigeonholing through bias is the & # 8216 ; keeping of derogative societal attitudes or cognitive beliefs, the look of negative affect, or the show of hostile or prejudiced behaviour towards members of a group on history of their rank to that group & # 8217 ; . This definition implies that pigeonholing is chiefly a group procedure, through the persons psyche & # 8217 ; s within that group. A farther thought of pigeonholing, defined by Allport ( 1954 ) as & # 8216 ; believing ailment of others without warrant & # 8217 ; , is that people & # 8216 ; do their head up & # 8217 ; without any personal experience. This pre judgement about a whole group is so transferred to the stigmatisation of any persons in that group. It is these thoughts that the essay aims to measure, through the cognitive procedure of classification and the above definitions that conveying approximately three distinguishable characteristics of stereotyping, that our knowledge can be demonstrated through.
The first feature of pigeonholing is over-generalization. A figure of surveies conducted found that different combinations of traits were associated with groups of different cultural and national beginning ( Katz and Braly, 1933 ) . However, pigeonholing does non connote that all members of a group are judged in these ways, merely that a typical member of a group can be categorized in such judgements, that they possess the features of the group. Still, when we talk of a group, we do so by conceive ofing a member of that group.
The 2nd characteristic and feature of stereotyping is the hyperbole of the difference between 1s ain groups ( the in-group ) and the & # 8216 ; other & # 8217 ; groups ( the out-group ) . This can be traced back to the work of Tajfel during the 1950 & # 8217 ; s & # 8211 ; & # 8216 ; the accentuation rule & # 8217 ; ( Tajfel, 1981 ) . Tajfel & # 8217 ; s work was specifically on physical stimulation, and concluded that judgements on such stimulations are non made in isolation, but in the context of other factors. Applied socially & # 8211 ; a judgement about an out-group relies upon other factors environing the judgement in inquiry, every bit good as doing a statement about the in-group and the relationship between the two groups. Through stereotyping and classification we exaggerate the differences between the groups. From this comes the consequence that in believing an out-group is homogeneous, through overdone differences, their in-group is non & # 8211 ; with really much less over-generalization taking topographic point ( Linville, et al. , 1986 ) .
Then eventually and 3rd feature of stereotyping is that of the look of values. Most stereotyped judgements of group features are in fact moral ratings ( Howitt, et al. , 1989 ) . For illustration, Katz and Braly ( 1933 ) studied a group of pupils & # 8217 ; attitudes to towards minority groups. They found that Jews were attributed to being & # 8216 ; mean & # 8217 ; ( in footings of money ) , instead than they themselves being & # 8217 ; spendthrifts & # 8217 ; . Besides, they found that there was a strong position that Gallic people were & # 8216 ; excitable & # 8217 ; . This really implies that they are over-excitable & # 8211 ; above the norm, as everybody is excitable, per Se, and therefore there would be no necessity to advert it. Reasoning from this, it is valid to state that a value has been put on a characteristic & # 8211 ; in this instance, a stereotyped one.
The cognitive attack to stereotyping is that we all stereotype, at changing degrees & # 8211 ; because of the indispensable cognitive procedure of classification ( Brown, 1995 ) . Howitt, et Al. ( 1989 ) take this position besides, and add that it is an ordinary procedure of idea to over-generalize, and so protect it.
Harmonizing to Allport & # 8217 ; s earlier definition of pigeonholing, such a pre judgement must be immune to alter. Such opposition may be put down to the procedures of believing taking to prejudices ( Howitt, et al. , 1989 ) . For us to believe that our pre opinions are right, what we perceive to be is what we see. For illustration, Duncan ( 1976 ) showed that how we perceive the societal universe can be affected by our classifications, such as, in this instance, racial stereotypes. The survey found that, because black people were stereotyped as aggressive people ( by the topics ) , the topics perceived a state of affairs as being more aggressive, near to a battle, when played by black histrions whereas with white histrions, it was seen as playful. Such prejudices may besides be looked at as self-fulfilling, or even self-protecting, the & # 8217 ; sense of ego & # 8217 ; . This ego positively is & # 8216 ; natural & # 8217 ; , and as such can be projected onto one & # 8217 ; s perceptual experience of the in-group & # 8211 ; holding similar effects at the other terminal of the spectrum. That is, a negative position of an single projected onto & # 8216 ; their & # 8217 ; group, or the out-group. This is the ground for most stereotypes being negative.
Our classification and prejudices can besides hold an consequence on others. Essed ( 1988 ) found that white stereotyping of black people had a detrimental consequence in occupation interviews, through uncomfortableness and unrest due to the inquiries asked during the interview. This survey was conducted out of the research lab. A farther illustration of the effects of racial pigeonholing on others is a reproduction of a British authorities commissioned survey in which a black and a white individual apply to lease a level. The landlord? s pre judgement of black people through stereotyping affected
the black man’s opportunity and legal right to lease the level ( BBC telecasting, Black and White, 1987 ) . This is an illustration of the out-group homogeneousness consequence ( Brown, 1995 ) .
. The cognitive attack of classification does hold its defects nevertheless. Classification theoreticians give a instead mechanistic feeling of knowledge, and therefore, their attack to pigeonholing ( Billig, 1985 ) .
We do hold a pick in our premises and there is flexibleness about human thought ( Howitt, et al. , 1989 ) . Therefore, knowledge is non every bit stiff as classification implies. It is an simplism in itself to propose that linguistic communication oversimplify the universe, because it is due to linguistic communication that our positions of the societal universe can be expressed. However, linguistic communication does non hold to be present for pigeonholing to be present. For illustration, the Minimal Group Paradigm. Even so, linguistic communication AIDSs our classification and therefore, our pigeonholing. It is the same linguistic communication that we may utilize to pigeonhole that enables us to be the contrary. For illustration, in the interviews mentioned above, the interviewers could be taught to inquire non-categorical inquiries. As constructs in our heads, tolerance is every bit easy as bias.
Our supposed necessity to simplify the universe, as we are & # 8216 ; incapable & # 8217 ; of taking in & # 8216 ; every new stimulation as alone & # 8217 ; ( Park and Rothbart, 1982 ) , may besides be balanced by a statement of the antonym: & # 8216 ; we would happen trouble in accommodating to a universe which required action, if no new stimulation could be treated as alone, but every alone stimulation had to be considered as similar to others & # 8217 ; ( Billig, 1985 ) . This is the footing of Billig & # 8217 ; s statement of particularisation against classification & # 8211 ; which gives rise to the procedures of individualisation & # 8211 ; handling and comprehending group members as persons. Classification argues that, through our & # 8216 ; natural & # 8217 ; form of idea, or knowledge, its similarities instead than its individualism categorise our perceptual experience of stimulation. Billig suggests that this can alter, through a motivational procedure in classification itself, giving flexibleness to such cognitive procedures.
We are cognizant of the possibility and ability to alter. However, we do non show this flexibleness because it is a break of the norm, or, of the societal group-thought. Goffman ( 1959 ) positions mundane life as dramaturgical ( ? the full universe & # 8217 ; s a phase, and all the work forces and adult females simply participants & # 8230 ; & # 8217 ; Shakespeare ) . To interrupt this would be to alter the book, and interrupt out of the conformance of the societal group, self-to-self and to others. Even so, this illustrates that through our ability to categorise, we have the ability to specify and & # 8216 ; make more with the stimulations than accumulate more cases of preset classs & # 8217 ; ( Billig, 1985 ) .
In Billig & # 8217 ; s alternate attack to stereotyping, he besides raises the point of class choice & # 8211 ; a job that cognitive psychologists have frequently overlooked. Tversky and Gati ( 1978 ) found that different stimulations are judged on their similarities and differences before classification and this judgement can be different depending on what manner the stimulation is perceived. Billig & # 8217 ; s point is that we must specify before categorising and therefore a nexus has been formed.
Classification implies rigidness in our knowledge. Stereotypes, by nature, are over generalisations. Such inflexibleness is non a possible procedure of our knowledge & # 8211 ; & # 8216 ; classification do non be in isolation & # 8217 ; ( Billig, 1985 ) . As classification leads to many classs, through its definition, certainly merely one such class could perchance be so stiff and inflexible, as other classs must be used by it, and therefore be flexible. Therefore, classification is non a stiff procedure, but involves change & # 8211 ; which is reflective of our knowledge and alteration is possible ( conflicting with Allport & # 8217 ; s definition ) .
The difference between two groups affects other properties of the out-group, including those that are similar to the in-group. By subdividing farther such similarities, we are originating a defence alteration in our attitudes and classs. This ingeniousness is another illustration of the flexibleness of classification. In the most utmost instances, this can take to inventiveness demonstrated by racial theoreticians, which in fact, contradicts their bias and rigidness of classs. This flexibleness can be illustrated farther by surveies that have shown that in stereotyping, people imply that most of group posses a stereotyped trait but non all members. Therefore, is the demand for & # 8217 ; particular instances & # 8217 ; , realisation of individualisation and tolerance ( Billig, 1985 ) .
Harmonizing to the cognitive attack, pigeonholing is a group procedure. It may happen in-groups, but it is the single minds that make up the group, that project their stereotypes through a group. We do hold the ability to see people as persons and specify their alone features. We can alter, as even classification is flexible, which undermines the cognitive attack with classification, although it may take clip on a societal degree.
To reason, the cognitive attack entirely does non give us an apprehension of pigeonholing. However, it does ground the fact that through our & # 8216 ; natural & # 8217 ; thought processes we do categorise, which leads to pigeonholing. It besides highlights the importance of the person and the group. There are, nevertheless, jobs that have been overlooked by cognitive psychologists which we need to understand, in order to to the full understand the & # 8216 ; altering kineticss and nature of pigeonholing in our society & # 8217 ; ( Howitt, et al. , 1989 ) . There is besides the demand to look farther than the causes of pigeonholing and into its effects in order to understand the procedures of our idea, of stereotyping.