This week’s readings in both my psychology classes cover prejudice. Psyc 201 (Social Psychology) covered stereotypes and prejudice and Psyc 406 (Psychopathology) just cover prejudice (in some ways covered stereotypes). Psyc 406 covered race, gender, sexual orientation, culture, and social economic class. Keep in mind Psyc 406 ONLY cover mental illness and the profession in the field of psychology. The fact that you can go to school for psychology and still be a judgmental a** is amazing. I mean really you have to take a class on how to understand other cultures. Psyc 201 gave an over view of stereotypes and prejudice and how it effects peoples as a group and as a person outside of psychology and needless to say it pushed all my buttons. Reading about prejudice is one thing having two classes talking about it at the same time (we cover prejudice in nearly every class) is more than I could handle. I had nightmares on and off all night about the stuff I was reading and to make it worse you have stuff in the media about black teens getting shot, one religious person killing another, women cannot get equal pay, people of the LGBT cannot get married, and the list just goes on.
Today when I woke up I had to do something to brighten my mood so what did I do??
I went to the website given in one of my books and took a quiz (IAT) (if you want to take the link is bellow). It was going to test my implicit (subconscious) level of prejudice towards Caucasian. I was surprised at how nerves I was, and how the thought of being prejudice made me really upset. Anyways, I took IAT titled Racial Attitudes and Pets Study. I do not have a pet but was still able to take it, I was so nerves at the end I even thought about not reading what I got. However, keeping in mind that it is better to know what the problem is and face (i.e. put one’s self in a situation to face the stereotype) it even when it comes to stereotypes and prejudice (Smith, E. & Mackie, D. (2007). So I looked at what I got (after reading the information about the study and how actions of prejudice can have an effect on house animals) and was relieved when it said I showed a slight biasness to African Americans over Caucasian. (I am Black after all.)
My words to anyone who has a prejudice or believes in stereotypes is to get up and face them. If you think black people are lazy, go watch some work. If you think all Caucasian have money go meet some who don't, and if you think all Asians get A’s do your research. Do not go looking for what you believe I mean really go find REAL people, go find the hard working African Americans, the Caucasian on welfare, and the Asians just trying to pass the class like everyone else. Do not put people on hill they cannot get down from, and do not treat others like they cannot make it to the top. Do not judge someone off of religion, what they eat, how they dress, who they love, skin color, gender, and anything else. It is a beautiful diverse world take a look at without the prejudice and stereotypes you have.
Disclamor: The IAT does not tell you if you are prejudice, it tells you what your implicit (subconscious) level of prejudice may be (no test is 100%). It only tells you what you have learned in your subconscious over your lifetime. I am very open minded person and the fact is we live in a world with prejudice it is going to have some affect. once again this does not mean YOU are prejudice.
If you would like to take the quiz (IAT) here is the link Project Implicit. Once on the page you can read what they are about, sign up with them, or get straight to the quiz (IAT) (it is Project Implicit Featured Task).
Here is the references to the books I am reading.
Smith, E. & Mackie, D. (2007). Social psychology (3rd ed). Psychology Press.