explanatory Essay
1037 words
1037 words

There is no doubt that prejudice in society towards African Americans has decreased in the last 100 years by eliminating segregation and the positive affects that the civil rights movements caused. Despite those positive changes, prejudice still exists. (Feenstra, 2013, p. 98) Prejudice can be explained as, “a negative attitude toward individuals based on their membership in a particular group.” (Feenstra, 2013, p. 92) I hypothesize that prejudice towards African American men is significantly higher than prejudice towards white American men in the United States. If a person is to walk by a group of African Americans, they will feel much more anxious than they would if they were to walk by a group of white Americans. I believe there would be a same pattern in that more negative stereotypes would be applied to Africans Americans than to white men. But for this experiment, prejudice will be my main focus. Prejudice and stereotyping go hand in hand, so it is important to understand the differences between the two. While prejudice engages a negative attitude about a group, “stereotypes are beliefs about the characteristics of particular groups or members of those groups.” (Feenstra, 2013, p. 92) In other words, stereotypes focus more on behaviors towards groups, while prejudice focuses more on negative attitudes on the group as a whole. It is important to conduct experiments on prejudice, so that social psychologists can narrow down the root causes of prejudice, and hopefully present ways in which we can decrease prejudice. The following essay will describe how I would conduct an experiment to measure prejudice against African American males versus white American males.
I would conduct my field study at a fairly large and popular pa...

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...imental group that included the white males. Then I would be able to compare the results and see if my experiment supported my hypothesis. If my hypothesis was supported, I would want to further investigate what groups of people were the most anxious around my groups of the five men. This further investigation could help in pinpointing where a lot of prejudice comes from.
In conclusion, if I were able to conduct an experiment on prejudice in our society, I would conduct a field study that focused heavily on descriptive methods: natural observation and surveys. (Lecture 1/23/14) I believe there are many other different ways that my style of experiment could be of beneficial use. Instead of using males, you could use females, or you could use different races. Prejudice in our society is a very important thing that should be further studied by social psychologists.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that prejudice in society towards african americans has decreased in the last 100 years by eliminating segregation and the positive affects that the civil rights movements caused.
  • Explains how they would bring in their dependent variables to their experimental group to try to decrease stereotypical thinking. they would then conduct natural observations and surveys with their control group.
  • Explains that they would conduct their field study at a large and popular park that frequently has visitors. they would observe people walking around the park and write down their body language and behaviors.
  • Explains that when people take surveys, a disadvantage is that they may not be truthful.

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