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Intergroup Cognition and Emotions Theories

Select a current event depicting gender, race, age, sexual preference, or prejudice, and consider how the Intergroup Cognition and Emotions Theories pertain to the current event.

-Explain how the intergroup threat theory and the intergroup emotions theory would interpret the event.
-Explain the key tenets of each theory as the foundation for intergroup relationships as applied to the current event you selected.
-Explain the role of emotion in each theory and explain how it pertains to the current event you selected.
-Explain three ways to reduce intergroup bias and prejudice with regard to the current event you selected.

Solution Preview

Hi Charlene,
First, choose a familiar event, something that has been reported on. Then work through that event to apply the theory and complete the tasks. I suggest this simple outline:

1. Social Psychology and intergroup cognition (social behavior) - 250 words
2. The event - presents the article source, then explains event details - 300 words
3. Apply intergroup threat theory - define the theory, then apply - 250 words
4. Apply intergroup emotions theory - define the theory, then apply - 250 words
5. Key tenets from theory 1 - 250 words
6. Key tenets from theory 2 - 250 words
7. Role of emotion in 2 theories as it applies to the event - 200 words
8. Reducing intergroup bias on the event - 250 words

This should yield around 2000 words which should cover what you need. Just let me know via the feedback section if you need further clarification/help. You can also use the listed resources to further explore the topic. All the best and good luck with your studies.

Sincerely,
AE 105878/Xenia Jones
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Social Psychology & Intergroup Cognition

What is intergroup cognition and why is it important in social psychology? Intergroup cognition is a concept that "refers to thoughts, motives, or other mental processes that concern groups (especially distinction between groups) and that occur within the individual," according to Sedikides, Schopler & Insko (1998). Social psychology is that branch of the science that looks into how our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and perspectives are shaped by actual, implied or imagined presence of people other than ourselves in our lives, in our environment. Social refers to the notion of social dynamics - of being with others, of creating social relations - which is an essential part of being human in a social setting, in society. Social psychology delves into the formation of identity, behavior, self-concept and mental states via being exposed to social situations which in turn constructs internalized cultural norms via socialization.

Social psychology is a 'bridge' discipline as it takes perspectives from the discipline of sociology and amalgamates them with concepts in psychology to construct specific and focused theories that explain human behavior and mental states. Now, we are all part of a social group - either large (as in large communities, workplaces, ethnic groups) or small (small group of friends, family, hobby groups). Our being part of that group - whether by choice or not, impacts us in a way that exposes us to ideas about the group and our place in it. We internalize its values and ideas and through this, we think 'similarly', in an 'intergroup manner' with all the other members. These elements result to group thinking occurring in us as individuals. Consider for example how members of a tribe thinks - their beliefs, their mores, their practices and traditions - all these explain what they value, what they see as right and wrong and how they judge and make sense of the world.

Event Review: Tragedy

To further explore the concept of intergroup cognition (with cognition being that manner by which we process information, apply what we know so we can make decisions), it would be good to look into a particular event to exemplify the concept. I have chosen a tragic event that has gripped America and the world December 14, 2012 when a disturbed young man attacked Sandy Hook elementary school students and teachers after forcing his way into the school. HIs shooting spree resulted in the deaths of 28 people, 8 of them teachers, the murder of his own mother and the death of 19 first-grade kids. The news rocked the nation and fired up the debate on gun ownership primarily because it is believed that Adam Lanza, the 20-year old perpetrator gained his gun experience from his own mother, an avid weapons user and collector. In a span of 14 minutes, he ended the lives of his victims in a most violent way using his mother's Bushmaster XM15-E2S Rifle, one of the most powerful assault rifles available today.

He systematically went from room to room, gunning down pupils and teachers who tried their best to scramble to safety. Unable to flee, some young pupils played dead while teachers tried their best to keep themselves and their students hidden and safe. Some teachers sacrificed themselves - like Victoria Leigh Soto, a first grade teacher. I have chosen to put a focus on what happened to her and her students because of the account of the students who ...

Solution Summary

The intergroup cognition and emotions theories are examined.

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