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Regular version of the site
Master 2020/2021

Social Psychology of Prejudice

Type: Elective course (Applied Social Psychology)
Area of studies: Psychology
Delivered by: School of Psychology
When: 1 year, 3, 4 module
Mode of studies: offline
Instructors: Marina Kotova
Master’s programme: Applied Social Psychology
Language: English
ECTS credits: 5

Course Syllabus


Course Description 1) Pre-requisites The course is designed for first year master students and is based on the previously learned courses (“Theory and Methodology of Modern Psychology”, “Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology”, “Cross-cultural Psychology”). 2) Abstract The course is aimed to introduce to students basic findings and new directions in the area of prejudice research. Specific topics addressed are: 1) on the nature of prejudice: “old” prejudice and modern racism; 2) prejudice formation: easy to get in touch, hard to get rid of; 3) group identity, scapegoating, and stereotype threat “assistance” in prejudice formation and enhancing; 4) prejudice reducing techniques: strengths and weaknesses. Classroom activities follow several rules: • Combination of lecture sessions (which are aimed to provide theoretical and methodological basics) with discussions, analysis of video fragments, and group work (which develop students’ abilities to analyze and compare different approaches, justify their ideas, and participate in the scientific discussion) makes the course diverse and interesting for students. • Concentrated approach to course material and studying process. Each meeting is devoted to a specific topic and includes both a lecture and a seminar session. This type of classes’ organization leads to several consequences. Foremost, students come at lecture having a background knowledge that provides in turn a base for lecture information learning. Further, there is no a time gap between lecture and seminar, that reduces time for introduction part of seminar and allows to study more in depth. • Tasks that increase student’s responsibility for the education process. For instance, students chose a particular topic, form a working group, read additional literature about this topic, and are responsible for discussion at seminar devoted to this topic. • Tasks that are aimed to set a connection between course materials and students’ research projects. This gives students an opportunity to see an alternative to their research plan, compare and evaluate its strength and weaknesses. 3) Working language of the course is English (teaching and all communications). Duration of the course is 2 modules, from January till July, 190 academic hours (5 credits) in total, including: 48 hours in class and 142 hours for self-studying. Assessment method includes short quizzes, final test, article analysis (homework 1) and research project (homework 2, team task).
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The main objectives of the course are: • to acquaint students with basic theories and investigations in the area of prejudice and discrimination research; • to develop students’ abilities to analyze and compare different research approaches; to identify prejudice reducing techniques strengths and weaknesses; • to develop students' abilities to present their ideas, analyze research design and results, and to organize the scientific discussion.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Student is able to assess and verify information required for professional performance and synthesize new information if it is needed
  • Student is familiar with the core theoretical and methodological backgrounds of humanitarian knowledge, specifically, student is familiar with the core theoretical and methodological backgrounds in the area of prejudice research.
  • Student is able to analyze scientific literature, argue his or her point of view, and participate in a scientific discussion, specifically, student is able to make a theoretical overview of a particular course topic and organize a part of seminar discussion.
  • Student is able to use modern IT technologies for information search and analysis, specifically, student is able to find appropriate literature in the electronic library database of HSE.
  • Student is able to present the results of scientific work in a written and verbal form in English, specifically, student is able to write a theoretical overview of a particular course topic in English and present this work using illustrations (e.g. Power Point slides).
  • Student is familiar with the research methods of social psychology and their application in the particular research field, specifically, student is familiar with the research methods application in the area of prejudice research.
  • Student is able to plan and conduct an independent research project according to international academic standards, specifically, student is able to propose the research plan based on course materials, conduct a study, and present research results correctly.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction: Overview of the course
    Thematic overview of the course and research area is presented as well as auditory classes’ process, homework structure, and methods of assessment are explained. Students choose topics they will responsible for and form workgroups. Students’ and teacher’s expectations are discussed.
  • Differences in prejudice definitions and research methodology
    G.Allport’s (1954) view on prejudice nature is discussed. Contemporary approach toward the nature of prejudice (R.Brown, J.Dovidio, P.Glick, S.Fisk, etc.) are presented and discussed. Special attention is devoted to research methodology in the area of prejudice studies, ethical issues in such studies.
  • “Old” prejudice and modern racism
    “Is prejudice declining?” as a conceptual question since late 1980s – is a starting point for the class discussion. An idea of “inner conflict” proposed by G.Allport is described. Four key theories of modern racism (symbolic racism, aversive racism, ambivalent prejudice and theory of compunction) are described and discussed.
  • Prejudice formation and categorization: easy to get in touch, hard to get rid of
    Categorization as a core basis for prejudice formation is analyzed, namely: (1) the processes of differentiation and assimilation in intercategory perception; (2) intergroup discrimination and perceived intragroup homogeneity as a result of “category management”; (3) factors governing category use.
  • Group identity and prejudice formation and enhancing
    Group identity along with categorization is assumed to be a core basis for prejudice formation and resistance to reducing. This topic focuses on mechanisms that link social identity and prejudice. Firstly, the notion of social identity based on Social Identity Theory is described. Secondly, different threats to identity as triggers of identity “spillover” are discussed. Thirdly, individual and group factors that mediate link between social identity and prejudice are considered.
  • Stereotyping, scapegoating and prejudice
    Stereotype as an inference drawn from the assignment of a person to a particular category are discussed as a core phenomenon that both constitutes the content of prejudiced judgment and provides the sustainability of prejudiced point of view. Specific topics to address are: the origins of stereotypes (Where do they come from?), the mechanisms of its operation (How do they operate and with what effects?), and the principals of changing (How can they be changed?). Scapegoating is discussed as specific ideology that implies and explains hostility and exclusion practices toward scapegoated groups. Main focus of discussion is concentrated on P.Glick’s ideological model of scapegoating.
  • Intergroup threat and its consequences for intergroup relations
    Core reading for this topic based on Riek, Mania, & Gaertner (2006) meta-analytic review of the connection between intergroup threat and negative outgroup attitudes. Firstly, different types of existing intergroup threats (realistic threat, symbolic threat, intergroup anxiety, negative stereotypes, group esteem threat, and distinctiveness threat) is described. Then this meta-analytic study design and results is discussed. Additionally, outgroup status as moderator of some of established relationships is considered.
  • Prejudice reducing techniques: strengths and weaknesses
    This topic focuses on two issues. Firstly, the area of studies that based on the G.Allport’s “contact hypothesis” is considered. Namely, the meta-analytic research made by T.Pettigrew and L.Tropp is discussed. Secondly, the scope of different programs for intergroup relations “improvement” is analyzed with special focus on methodological basis of each program and exited data on its effectiveness
  • Crossed-categorization, ‘re-‘ and ‘de-‘ categorization, dual identities and its effects
    This topic is highly connected with topic 5 and devoted to possibilities of “identity based” techniques to reduce prejudice. Firstly, some models of crossed categorization are discussed, then the ideas of ‘re-‘ and ‘de-‘ categorization models are analyzed, and then recent trends in studying dual and complex identity are presented.
  • Particular prejudice reducing practice analysis
    Reading in this topic is focused on different practices of prejudice reducing and their effectiveness. Several practices constitute the core reading, some of them students analyze individually and present the results in the class.
  • Research practice
    Classes on this topic are aimed to student’s research abilities enhancement and application of the knowledge that students get acquainted. Research practice contains four stages: discussing of project proposals with research teams; research teams interim consultations; research project realization; presentation of the research results. Precise description of research practice is available in the Appendix
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Class participatioin
  • non-blocking Quizzes
  • non-blocking Homework 1
  • non-blocking Homework 2
  • non-blocking Final test
  • non-blocking Class participatioin
  • non-blocking Quizzes
  • non-blocking Homework 1
  • non-blocking Homework 2
  • non-blocking Final test
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.25 * Class participatioin + 0.2 * Final test + 0.15 * Homework 1 + 0.25 * Homework 2 + 0.15 * Quizzes


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Allbritten, D., Mainzer, R., & Ziegler, D. (2004). Will Students with Disabilities Be Scapegoats for School Failures? Educational Horizons, 82(2), 153–160. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=eric&AN=EJ684754
  • Ashby, F. G., & Maddox, W. T. (2005). Human Category Learning. Annual Review of Psychology, 56(1), 149–178. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.56.091103.070217
  • Cameron, J. A., Alvarez, J. M., Ruble, D. N., & Fuligni, A. J. (2001). Children’s Lay Theories About Ingroups and Outgroups: Reconceptualizing Research on Prejudice. Personality & Social Psychology Review (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), 5(2), 118–128. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327957PSPR0502_3
  • Ekehammar, B., Akrami, N., Gylje, M., & Zakrisson, I. (2004). What matters most to prejudice: Big Five personality, Social Dominance Orientation, or Right-Wing Authoritarianism? European Journal of Personality, 18(6), 463–482. https://doi.org/10.1002/per.526
  • Henry, P. J., & Sears, D. O. (2009). The Crystallization of Contemporary Racial Prejudice across the Lifespan. Political Psychology, 30(4), 569–590. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9221.2009.00715.x
  • Hewstone, M., Rubin, M., & Willis, H. (2002). Intergroup bias. Annual Review Of Psychology, 53, 575–604. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=mdc&AN=11752497
  • Hummel, J. H., Whatley, M. A., Monetti, D. M., Briihl, D. S., & Adams, K. S. (2009). Using the Sixth Edition of the APA Manual: A Guide for Students. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.B42304CD
  • Riek, B. M., Mania, E. W., & Gaertner, S. L. (2006). Intergroup threat and outgroup attitudes: a meta-analytic review. Personality And Social Psychology Review: An Official Journal Of The Society For Personality And Social Psychology, Inc, 10(4), 336–353. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=mdc&AN=17201592
  • Scheepers, D., Spears, R., Doosje, B., & Manstead, A. R. (2006). The social functions of ingroup bias: Creating, confirming, or changing social reality. European Review of Social Psychology, 17(1), 359–396. https://doi.org/10.1080/10463280601088773
  • Thomas F. Pettigrew. (n.d.). INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS AND GROUP PROCESSES A Meta-Analytic Test of Intergroup Contact Theory. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.E5FCBB03
  • Vezzali, L., Stathi, S., Giovannini, D., Capozza, D., & Trifiletti, E. (2015). The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.1E0C0E8
  • Wenzel, M., Mummendey, A., & Waldzus, S. (2007). Superordinate identities and intergroup conflict: the ingroup projection model. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.16D708AF

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Binder, J. ( 1 ), Brown, R. ( 1 ), Zagefka, H. ( 2 ), Funke, F. ( 3 ), Kessler, T. ( 3 ), Mummendey, A. ( 3 ), … Leyens, J.-P. ( 4 ). (n.d.). Does Contact Reduce Prejudice or Does Prejudice Reduce Contact? A Longitudinal Test of the Contact Hypothesis Among Majority and Minority Groups in Three European Countries. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96(4), 843–856. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0013470
  • Brown, R. (2002). Henri Tajfel’s “Cognitive aspects of prejudice” and the psychology of bigotry. British Journal of Social Psychology, 41(2), 195. https://doi.org/10.1348/014466602760060183
  • Crisp, R., Ensari, N., Hewstone, M., & Miller, N. (2003). A dual-route model of crossed categorisation effects. European Review of Social Psychology, 13(1), 35–73. https://doi.org/10.1080/10463280240000091
  • Durrheim, K., Quayle, M., & Dixon, J. (2016). The Struggle for the Nature of “Prejudice”: “Prejudice” Expression as Identity Performance. Political Psychology, 37(1), 17–35. https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12310
  • Elizabeth Levy Paluck. (2009). Reducing intergroup prejudice and conflict using the media: A field experiment in Rwanda. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.C833680
  • Guglielmi, R. S. (1999). Psychophysiological Assessment of Prejudice: Past Research, Current Status, and Future Directions. Personality & Social Psychology Review (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), 3(2), 123. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327957pspr0302_3
  • Gulker, J., Mark, A., & Monteith, M. (2013). Confronting prejudice: The who , what , and why of confrontation effectiveness. Social Influence, 8(4), 280–293. https://doi.org/10.1080/15534510.2012.736879
  • Irene V. Blair, Pers Soc, & Psychol Rev. (2002). The malleability of automatic stereotypes and prejudice. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.4D20DD3F
  • Lai, C., Marini, M., Lehr, S., Cerruti, C., Shin, J. E., Joy-Gaba, J., … Nosek, B. (2016). Reducing Implicit Racial Preferences: I. A Comparative Investigation of 17 Interventions. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.8EC51516
  • Lamb, L., Bigler, R., Liben, L., & Green, V. (2009). Teaching Children to Confront Peers’ Sexist Remarks: Implications for Theories of Gender Development and Educational Practice. Sex Roles, 61(5–6), 361–382. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-009-9634-4
  • Legault, L., & Green-Demers, I. (2012). The protective role of self-determined prejudice regulation in the relationship between intergroup threat and prejudice. Motivation & Emotion, 36(2), 143–158. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-011-9242-9
  • Major, B., & O’Brien, L. T. (2005). The social psychology of stigma. Annual Review Of Psychology, 56, 393–421. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=mdc&AN=15709941
  • McFarland, S. (2010). Authoritarianism, Social Dominance, and Other Roots of Generalized Prejudice. Political Psychology, 31(3), 453–477. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9221.2010.00765.x
  • Mummendey, A., Klink, A., & Brown, R. (2001). Nationalism and patriotism: national identification and out-group rejection. The British Journal Of Social Psychology, 40(Pt 2), 159–172. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=mdc&AN=11446222
  • National identification and anti-immigrant prejudice: Individual and contextual effects of national definitions. (2009). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.121D340
  • Otten, S., & Mummendey, A. (1999). To Our Benefit or at Your Expense? Justice Considerations in Intergroup Allocations of Positive and Negative Resources. Social Justice Research, 12(1), 19–38. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1023274223181
  • P. J. Henry, & David Sears. (2000). The symbolic racism 2000 scale. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.A0268342
  • Patricia G. Devine, E. Ashby Plant, David M. Amodio, Eddie Harmon-jones, & Stephanie L. Vance. (2002). The regulation of explicit and implicit race bias: The role of motivations to respond without prejudice. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.579F5081
  • Prejudice towards Muslims in The Netherlands: Testing integrated threat theory. (2008). British Journal of Social Psychology, 47(4). https://doi.org/10.1348/014466608x284443
  • Ramsay, J. E., & Pang, J. S. (2017). Anti-Immigrant Prejudice in Rising East Asia: A Stereotype Content and Integrated Threat Analysis. Political Psychology, 38(2), 227–244. https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12312
  • Rebels with a cause: Group identification as a response to perceived discrimination from the mainstream. (2001). Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27(9), 1204–1213. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167201279012
  • Roccas, S., & Brewer, M. B. (2002). Social Identity Complexity. Personality & Social Psychology Review (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), 6(2), 88–106. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327957PSPR0602_01
  • Roets, A., & Van Hiel, A. (2011). The role of need for closure in essentialist entitativity beliefs and prejudice: An epistemic needs approach to racial categorization. British Journal of Social Psychology, 50(1), 52–73. https://doi.org/10.1348/014466610X491567
  • Scroggins, W., Mackie, D., Allen, T., & Sherman, J. (2016). Reducing Prejudice With Labels: Shared Group Memberships Attenuate Implicit Bias and Expand Implicit Group Boundaries. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.BCCAE642
  • Shi, Y., Dang, J., Zheng, W., & Liu, L. (2017). Dual Identity and Prejudice: The Moderating Role of Group Boundary Permeability. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.54EAE7C9
  • Susan T. F Iske. (n.d.). The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory: Differentiating Hostile and Benevolent Sexism. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.BB8295A9
  • Susan T. Fiske, Amy J. C. Cuddy, Peter Glick, & Department Of Psychology. (2002). A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.4E3159ED
  • West, K., & Greenland, K. (2016). Beware of ‘reducing prejudice’: Imagined contact may backfire if applied with a prevention focus. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.AFF86C38