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Nnnn Essay

1260 words - 6 pages

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 park (a park to walk dogs, exercise, and containing at least one playground) that frequently has visitors. There would be a lot of social activity going in such an area. A large park would also be an ideal place to conduct my experiment because of the diverse amount of people that visit it. You may have elderly people walking around the park, children playing at the playground, and people varying in age that are walking their dogs, etc. Essentially, the participants would be randomly diverse. I would ensure that they are random by having no bias of who to observe. Any single person that walked around the park would be observed no matter their race, gender, age, etc. Another reason a park would be a good place to conduct my experiment is because I would be able to make natural observations. Natural observations are beneficial because behaviors are spontaneous. (Lecture 1/23/14)
My control group would be made up of people by themselves that took a walk around the entire park. It is important in this experiment to observe a single person, because you won’t have anyone with them to influences their own thoughts or behaviors. The independent variable would be the experience the person had in the park. I would observe people...

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