Psychological Self-Help

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most importantly, several interesting quizzes and surveys to assess your own
personal attitudes, knowledge, and motivations concerning various
prejudices. For example, there is a test to (a) see how aware you are of
prejudices that appear in ads, (b) measure your complex positive and
negative reactions to women’s roles and to feminists, (c) see how well you
know and feel about the history of slavery and of native American Indians,
and (d) uncover your unconscious biases, especially in terms of males being
associated with career roles and females being associated with family-
parenting roles. The Website scores your responses to some of the scales and
enables you to compare your attitudes about groups with normative samples.
The personal feedback you get from the quizzes should help you understand
and decide the changes you would like to make in terms of how you view
others. The better informed you are about your prejudices and their source,
the more practical use you can make of the information given by me and by
many writers in this important area.
Researchers studying attitudes and stereotypes have found it helpful to
distinguish between explicit and implicit attitudes and stereotypes. Explicit
attitudes are fully conscious evaluations of some group or person. Implicit
attitudes are evaluations that may be strong but hidden from others and
often even outside our own conscious awareness (but can be measured in
experiments). For example, the organization your spouse works for may be
judged favorably or unfavorably by you, depending on whether you feel
positively or negatively towards your spouse…there is an association but it
isn’t expressed or known explicitly. Likewise, there can be implicit
stereotypes; these are beliefs about groups or types of people that are strong
enough to influence your feelings and behavior with such people without your
being aware of your actions. Example: if you judge that John Smith is more
likely to be famous than Jane Smith, you might have an unknown belief or
implicit stereotype that says men are more likely than women to achieve
honor and fame.
The Implicit Association Test ( provides
one way of measuring implicit attitudes. It does this by pairing two concepts
together, for example young and good and elderly and good. If your attitude
associates young with good more so than elderly with good then there is less
conflict to resolve and you can respond faster to young and good. Anyway,
take some of the tests and you will see how hidden attitudes can be detected
and measured.
Understanding our own prejudices—Allport and DuBois
When we are prejudiced, we violate three standards: reason, justice, and
tolerance. We are unreasonable if we judge others negatively without
evidence or in spite of positive evidence or if we use stereotypes without
allowing for individual differences. We are unjust if we discriminate and pay
men one fifth or one third more for the same work as women or select more
men than women for leadership positions or provide more money for male
extra-curricular activities in high school than for female activities. We are
intolerant if we reject or dislike people because they are different, e.g. of a
different religion, different socioeconomic status, or have a different set of
values. We violate all three standards when we have a scapegoat, i.e. a
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