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Evaluating changes in racial prejudice to outgroups following an educational programme, Tolerance

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dc.contributor.advisor Pitman MM en
dc.contributor.author Thorogood CI en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-22T11:18:12Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-22T11:18:12Z
dc.date.created 2000 en
dc.date.submitted 2002 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11892/109502
dc.description.abstract Up until the late 1980's, the Normative Theory has dominated South African social psychologists' approaches to understanding the cause of prejudice as a 'social or group' phenomenon. Very little attention was paid to the individual processes that contribute to prejudice. Duckitt's (1988) Integrative Theory has been adopted in this study as it describes the many factors that contribute to prejudice. Whilst acknowledging that prejudice is an inherently innate human disposition, Duckitt's theory takes cognisance of 'both' the individual and group factors that cause prejudice. In addition, he considers the social-influence mechanisms (cues from the environment) that are responsible for transmitting prejudice from groups to individuals. Duckitt (1992) highlights the role that history and social context plays in forming attitudes and their impact on the development of theories of prejudice. The socio-political circumstances of South Africa have made the issues of race, social attitudes and prejudice highly salient. In spite of this country's recent emergence as a democratic nation, prejudice and violence continue to mark this country. This study investigated the effects of a cognitive programme, conducted by the Foundation of Tolerance Education, which is targeted at adolescents. This programme educates the students about group prejudice, but it intervenes at an individual level by using a multicultural approach that celebrates diversity, builds self-concept and promotes identity formation. Adolescence has been selected as the age group to be targeted in this study, because of its strong association with the development of self-concept and identity formation. The primary aim of this research was to see if the tolerance programme reduced racial prejudice. The researcher conducted pre- and post-tests on adolescent females from two private schools in Johannesburg. One school comprised the experimental group and the other comprised the control group. The former group received the intervention, i.e. the tolerance programme, over a period of nine months. The experimental group showed a reduction in prejudiced attitudes, whilst the control group did not. Findings from this research suggest that the intervention (the tolerance programme) was successful in reducing attitudes of racial prejudice. Secondly, it was hypothesised that students with high academic ability would be more receptive to the programme on racial prejudice as high academic ability was believed to index cognitive sophistication. This theory was not supported in the findings. On the contrary, students with lower academic ability experienced the most change, with respect to prejudiced attitudes. Cognitive sophistication is believed to produce less prejudiced attitudes in individuals by reducing simplistic categorisations made by members of ingroups to outgroups. This was approached by the Foundation by teaching cognitive skills to the students as well as educating these adolescents in the historical and socio-cultural events that might have contributed to attitudes of prejudice. Academic ability is thought to index cognitive sophistication. The programme aims at improving cognitive sophistication, and has implications for South African schools, particularly those schools whose standard of education is lower than that of the sample groups in this study. As a result the study suggests that the Foundation should target their programme at schools whose standard of education is lower than that of these sample groups. en
dc.language English en
dc.title Evaluating changes in racial prejudice to outgroups following an educational programme, Tolerance en
dc.type Masters degree en
dc.description.degree MA (Clin Psych) en

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