psychological processes

Choose ONE of the following topics to reflect on and discuss. When responding to the question prompt, be sure to integrate what you have learned throughout the course in terms of psychological processes (stereotypes, automatic versus controlled processing, in-group and out-group bias), societal influences (e.g., status characteristics theory, implicit bias), organizational factors (e.g., procedures to increase accountability, conditions to enhance controlled processing) and group experiences (e.g., how gender or race might impact one’s work experiences).

  1. Overt, intentional discrimination is less likely to occur in the U.S. today, than it has in the past. However, modern or aversive racism may be taking its place. Modern racism (also called aversive racism) has been used to describe those who possess negative beliefs and feelings about racial issues and minority groups, yet believe that they are not prejudiced. Draw on your knowledge of stereotypes, automatic versus controlled processing, and implicit bias. Discuss how these concepts support the notion of modern or aversive racism. How might one’s personal experiences influence perceptions of racism? How is the transition to modern racism likely to affect majority group members’ work places experiences? How is the transition to modern racism likely to affect minority group members’ workplace experiences? Consider how this more subtle form of racism may be more difficult for organizations to manage than more overt racism. What would you recommend to organizations to reduce the affects of racism on employment decisions?
  2. According to Peggy McIntosh (2004), racism involves both “individual acts of meanness” and “invisible systems conferring racial dominance”. How has the course helped you to become aware of these “invisible systems”? Provide examples from the lecture and/or book of systemic racism and/or sexism. Include examples from the media and/or your own experiences. Discuss why it may be difficult for those who are privileged to recognize that privilege. Do you think that meritocracy is a myth or do you believe that it exists in the United States? Do you think that the belief that the US is a meritocracy (i.e., that the system is fair and that people essentially get what they deserve) is likely to differ between majority and minority group members? Can it be both true and false of U.S. society? Has the course material affected how you view your own position in the United States? McIntosh, P. (2004) “White privilege and male privilege: A personal account of coming to see correspondences through Work in Women’s Studies (1988).” In J.F. Healey & E. O’Brien (Eds.), Race, Ethnicity, and Gender. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press, pp. 294-301.
  3. Consider what you have learned about the history of various groups in the United States. Compare and contrast past treatment of at least two different racial/ethnic groups. In addition, discuss the current status (i.e., education level, employment experiences, income) of these groups. Do you think that past treatment and circumstances (i.e., access and treatment discrimination; acceptance as U.S. citizens; education levels; reasons for immigrating to the U.S.) still affect group members today? Why or why not? (Be sure to present evidence to support your assertion.) How is one’s position on the lingering effects of past discrimination likely to affect views regarding the importance (or lack of importance) of affirmative action programs?


  • Do not plagiarize. Remember you must cite all ideas that do not originate from you and you must put these ideas into your own words.
  • Include a reference page and cite others work and ideas in the text using APA referencing style.
  • Don’t just summarize the readings or lectures. Although you must refer to the readings or lectures; a major portion of the paper should include your thoughts regarding the course material (e.g., consider and discuss whether you agree or disagree with what was presented; whether the course made you question or think about your assumptions and stereotypes). When possible include your own insights, observations, and experience as you reflect on the topic that you chose to discuss.
  • Double space your paper.
  • Complete your paper by the deadline. I subtract 5 points for each day a paper is late. The reflection papers are worth 40 points, so if you turn in the paper several days late, it will result in the loss of a large proportion of points.
  • Most papers will be about 3-5 pages long. However, please do not ramble and repeat yourself for the sake of

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