welcome to the site! Read the description to the left for details regarding the theory behind this site. Some may know this section as an "Abstract"
The History of Energy
the beginning is the end
Under this section is a paper written for an Honours Psychology course, the History of Psychology. The task was to trace a topic from contemperary Psychology back through various historical stages to see how that topic has grown over the course of time. The topic I chose was energy, or Energy Psychology. Enjoy research from Feinstein (most recent) all the way back to Pythagoras.
The Future of Energy
the end is the beginning. This section includes all the previous homepage fails ;) enjoy!
This is the major veiwpoint taken on this site in regard to these topics, but since the completion of my Masters degree in Gender Studies, I've been trying to go back and make it more inclusive. This link includes a proposed field theory for Psychology because the two major branches of Psychology (quantitative and qualitative) find it hard to see eye to eye. This (and the next) section is for members only.
This section proposes a Grand Unified Field theory or "theory of everything" for Physics, backed up by a mathematical equation.
This section unites all sections together to unite the branches of Science and Religion. Many different perspectives are taken and these two seemingly opposing forces are united through many different angles.
This section looks at the conflicts or cycles between New Age free thought and Orthodox dogmaticism. The feud between these two opposing forces revealed the truth regarding the story of Jesus, what he really taught and to whom he truly gave the rites to teach his faith. This section explores why the movie The Last Temptation of Christ was banned in other countries, looks at the Da Vinci Code and presents a controversial paper/theory showing the hidden meaning of world religious symbols.
This section begins with a confusing paper about taking back the spirit. If the point can be penetrated, it tells an interesting story about Modernity and the Age of Reason, with a twist by providing evidence that emotion could be considered superior to reason. It also complicates Carteasian mind/body distinctions by adding spirit back into the equation. Have fun following that one lol. I can't even follow it ;) There are other papers about explaining Mystical experiences and others comparing Western and Eastern styles of consciousness. My favourite is the book review of Kabbalah. I like how this site allows me to go back and fix/reword old papers/ideas. This section really details what it is like to have a theory in the making and shows how ideas develop over time. One day my ideas/theory will be comprehensive to others outside my wacky brain :)
This section includes research done on the importance of emotional charge on ESP communication. It proposes that it is emotion communication that makes telepathy successful. The second paper in this section addresses dreams and dream interpretation. Two Dream interpretation methods (Freud's and Jung's) were analyzed to determine which method produced the most accurate results. The third paper presents research on Understanding Altered States of Conciousness and the last paper in this section is about Western Consciousness and how we are very individualized and perhaps out of balance due to us being lost in the Grand Illusion (Maya). The next paper looks at The Implication of Eastern Concepts on Western Ideals, to propose a potential balance between the two world views.
This section includes a paper about the subject-object dichotomy in Philosophy
This section begins with a work that is a detailed analysis of the screenplay/poem found in the Art section of this site. This paper looks at the research behind the play that inspired its manifestation (or why I wrote the play). It is hard to avoid the Book of Revelations when the topic of the Apocalypse comes up, so the next paper in this section is a comparison of the similarities and differences of the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelations. Many similarities were found and the research leads one to beleive that we are in the dawning of the Age when we will see great changes in the world as we know it today.
This section includes papers on 3 pathways to happiness (physical, mental, emotional), followed by a paper on how to end prejudice, a paper on the polarization of the sexes is next (as it is hypothesized by this site that the true or pure unification of All That is in the Universe is solved by the reunification of the energy of the sexes ;). Finally, this section ends with an empirical thesis exploring the equal validation or rational and emotional styles.
This section contains a play or screenplay called the Grand Drama that is written entirely out of prose (the owner and creator of this website has personally written everything that appears on it). This work of art reveals a hidden message, one that may unlock the key to the mysteries of the universe! This page also includes a shortened poem of the Grand Drama and provides a link to a song that is about Plato's Analogy of the Cave (members only).
this is a collection of my poetry - enjoy!
This is a collection of my songs - enjoy! =)
This is my photo collection
Key to the Legend
Red = Philosophy
Blue = Physics
Yellow = mathematics
green = hard sciences
grey = psychology
the parts under construction are labeled as such or blanketed by <<< ____ >>> indicating personal notes to self to improve the site, or the layout of the information presented.
Prejudice: How Can We Stop It?
Prejudice is defined as an attitude towards a group, often seen as having an affective quality based on the beliefs held about the group’s characteristics (G. Hodson, personal communication, January 9, 2008). Other aspects involved or implied within this definition of prejudice are categorization and stereotypes. Categorization is a natural phenomenon and is seen to lead to stereotypes (Macrae & Bodenhausen, 2000), which are defined by Lippman as the pictures in our heads of the beliefs about a group’s characteristics or qualities (G. Hodson, personal communication, January 16, 2008).
The modern view of prejudice is that it is socially unacceptable and unjust. This is quite different from traditional attitudes towards prejudice which was seen to be socially acceptable and was expressed overtly. Because prejudice is seen as socially unacceptable, a lot of research is oriented towards unpacking and understanding the phenomenon. However, little research in the area is geared towards finding a solution to reduce prejudice. This paper will focus on some of the research available discussing ways to reduce, eliminate or control prejudice tendencies. Correlates to prejudice such as categorization, stereotypes, intergroup anxiety, and the role of religion in prejudice will be examined. Limitations and future directions will be discussed in regard to this research, and lastly, Allport’s notion that “self-insight is a necessary but insufficient step toward overcoming prejudice” (as cited by Devine, 2005, p 329) will be challenged.
Our perceptual systems are designed to take in and organize information coming into our senses from the environment (Schiffman, 2001). These automatic processes store this information, allow room to process new, novel information and thus reduce the possibility of stress or overload (P. Tyson, personal communication, March 13, 2007). The way categorization processing works is as information comes in, it is organized into similar and dissimilar stimuli. This affects the way we perceive and process information. For example, Mach Bands are a phenomenon that occurs when we look at edges, like a table or stairs. Contours are more easily perceived because the receptors in the eye exaggerate the difference between dim and bright light. It is functional and natural because it helps us to navigate better in our environment (Schiffman, 2001).
The problem with this processing, and how it relates to prejudice is that when we look at people, we tend to exaggerate the differences between group members (Tajfel, 1969). Automatic processing leads us to categorize people into groups, this reduces the perceived variation of individual differences within the group and leads to inaccurate assumptions (Taylor, Sheatsley, & Greeley, 1978).
Recognizing and understanding that categorization is a process common and natural in humans can help reduce prejudiced tendencies because we could potentially use this knowledge to notice when we are assessing people in this manner. Categorization can be combated with a process called decategorization which could break up the pattern of seeing people as members of groups, and begin to see them more as individuals (Reik, Mania & Gaertner, 2006). The understanding of categorization and decategorization is important to reducing prejudice because according to Macrae and Bodenhausen (2000), it is categorization that leads to stereotyping.
Knowing how to detect when stereotypes are activated is useful for reducing prejudice (Devine, 2005). Stereotypes can be activated in many ways. Cues from the environment can activate stereotypes (Taylor et al, 1978). For example, just seeing someone of another race can activate pre-existing stereotypes of members of that group. What is unusual about stereotypes and their activation is that pre-existing stereotype categories are activated more by being in a positive, happy mood. Most people desire this state, but a happy mood can trigger automatic processing that is more simplistic or heuristic, thus activating the stereotype category (Forgas & Feidler, 1995). I hypothesis that this might be a confound because perhaps stereotypes are associated with jokes, which is also associated with laughter and thus a "happy" mood. <<<But, this paper is not about me and what I think lol>>>
People can also be motivated to activate stereotype categories by being exposed to negative feedback or comments (Sinclair & Kunda, 1999). So watch out for crowds. It has been shown that teen risk taking behaviour and poor cost-benefit analysis are moderated or impeded as the number of peers increase (Mrug & Windle, 2009).
It is important to know the various ways in which stereotypes can be activated because if one has the desire to reduce their prejudiced thoughts, they can learn to detect the activation of the stereotype and use it as a cue to reduce these tendencies (Devine, 2005). For example Allport discusses inner conflict which is a feeling of guilt that occurs when a person’s thoughts or actions go against their personal egalitarian beliefs (as cited in Devine, 2005). These feelings of guilt or conflict can be used as a cue for preventing future acts, thoughts or feelings of prejudice. These cues are referred to as Post Consciousness Cues for Control (Devine, 2005). Once the conflict triggers activation of stereotypical thoughts, it can allow the person to hesitate long enough to consider their actions and thus interrupt future automated responses that go against egalitarian ethics. This method of reducing prejudice however is successful only in those already low in prejudice (Devine, 2005). Therefore, in low prejudiced people recognizing biases produced by our perceptual system and noticing discrepancies between ideals and behaviour, prejudice can be reduced and eventually eradicated using these cues for control.
Intergroup Threat/ Intergroup Anxiety
Another important correlate with prejudice is intergroup threat or intergroup anxiety, which is when there are anxious, nervous feelings about future contact with groups (Reik et al, 2006). Stephan, Diaz-Loving and Duran (2000) have found this to be the strongest correlate between high in-group identification and negative attitudes towards a group. The degree of anxiety increases with decreased amount of contact with the group (Stephan & Stephan, 1985). So, the more contact we make with members of out groups, the less likely anxious feelings will arise.Therefore, the more you become educated or get to know a person, the more the walls of stereotyping and prejudice break down. This is why it is recommended for those who are kidnapped to tell the perpetrator their name and start conversation. If report is made and there is knowledge about each other, it makes it harder for the perpetrator to continue afflicting pain.
It is not just the amount of contact, but the type of contact experienced. Positive contact and cooperation between groups has also been found to reduce anxiety (Reik et al, 2006). For example, studies in transactive memory have shown that a jigsaw approach to learning brings people of the group together as a team, no matter the race of the individuals in the group (J. Mitterer, personal communication, March, 2007). If the group members are given a common superordinate goal, the individuals in the group remember talents of others, it evokes better memory and learning of the task and fewer errors are made. Perhaps businesses could use this approach to reduce jealousy and intergroup anxiety. It has also been suggested that intergroup threats can be reduced by introducing cultural diversity programs (Reik et al, 2006).
Evangelical Christians are a group found to oppose racial equality (Devine, 2005) which could be described as Modern Racism. It has been found that the Protestant Work Ethic is correlated with anti-black attitudes (Katz & Hass, 1988). This makes sense because the Protestant Work Ethic is an ideology that promotes working hard and if you work hard you will get the things you deserve, ultimately entry into heaven. Thus, those who do not work hard are seen as lazy “parasites” and are not worthy of rewards from society. This is seen to create prejudice because if a group is labeled or assumed to be lazy, those who endorse the Protestant Work Ethic will deny privileges and harbour negative attitudes towards the group. Capitalism was a by-product of this Ethic because if you did business with someone, you would check their credentials with the church they were afiliated with (hunt, 2003). One would be true to their word that if you pay, they would deliver. If they didn't the church would ex-communicate you. (Hunt, 2003). <<If you wish to know more about the Protestant work ethic and its role in modern society, see Science/Religion section>>
Factor analysis has found three major types of religiosity, religion as a means, religion as an end and religion as a quest (Batson & Stocks, 2005; Ryan, Rigby & King, 1993; Watson, Morris, Hood, Milliron & Stutz, 1998). It has been found that one type in particular can lead to prejudice, religion as a means (Batson & Stocks, 2005; MacLean, Walker & Matsuba, 2004) also known as an extrinsic dimension of religiosity (Batson & Stocks, 2005). This extrinsic dimension (or religion as a means) is immature and uses religion for selfish reasons such as attending church to look good in the eyes of others (Batson & Stocks, 2005; Allport & Ross, 1967; Ryan et al., 1993 & Watson et al., 1998). Accordingly, the intrinsic dimension, or religion as an end is considered to be more mature and healthy. However, the intrinsic scale seems to be correlated with a desire to not look prejudiced (Batson & Stocks, 2005).
Religion as a Quest is described as being a more open-minded approach to religion and is more of a quest for meaning (MacLean et al., 2004). Although this scale is not correlated to prejudice, it is however, correlated with extrinsic scales (Ryan et al., 1993). Religion is important to discuss because one should perhaps evaluate their reasons for being religious and choose their path carefully. If more people endorsed an intrinsic approach to religion and fully internalized its moral values, and/or treated the path to religion as an on-going quest, there would be less prejudice in the world because extrinsic scales not only correlate with low self esteem, depression and poor mental health (Ryan et al., 1993), but also to prejudice (Watson et al., 1998).
Discussion, Limitations and Future Directions
Categorization, stereotyping, intergroup anxiety, and the role of religion are ways in which only the individual can seize and learn to control. Self-insight should not be seen as an insufficient way to reduce prejudice because all of these influences begin within the individual. Reducing prejudice is truly an “intrapersonal journey” (Devine, 2005). If prejudice is to be eliminated we all must look within ourselves and fight the natural processes and social influences through forms of inner development. More indepth intrapersonal solutions to prejudice are as follows.
Decategorization could be likened to deautomatization as studied by Deikman (1966). Deautomatization is described as being a way to rid one’s self of the automated processes built into our perceptual systems. Meditation can help deautomatize (Deikman, 1966). Through meditation we can explore and discover the influences that affect us without our awareness. Once pin pointed, these automated categories can be inserted into the post conscious detection process discussed above and could eventually be eliminated.
Perhaps it is not only the low-prejudiced people that can decategorize. Devine (2005) mentioned a brain process associated with the anterior cingular cortex (ACC) and is involved in inhibiting unintended responses. The ACC is said to help in preconscious conflict detection (Devine, 2005). The only resource a person may need to utilize both post conscious detection and preconscious conflict detection is the desire to reduce prejudiced acts and thoughts and that is something only the individual can do and therefore includes high-prejudice scoring individuals if they posses a desire to change. Overt prejudiced acts could be inhibited and reduced in high prejudice-scoring people if individuals in their ingroup chose to disapprove of prejudice. The high-prejudiced person would therefore control their tendencies due to conformity (Crandall & Stangor, 2005).
Perhaps decategorization could also occur if all people could be placed into one big, generalized category of “humans.” Prejudice could be reduced if we teach our children that all people are equal but possess different talents. If broad categories that encompass all people could be instilled early on, the automatic category or heuristic thinking that people revert to in a happy mood would be the category that we are all humans instead of smaller categorical stereotypes. If these small categories could be eliminated, then it could reduce stereotypes. It is up to the self-insight of the individual parent to do this.
Stereotypes could also be reduced and eventually eliminated using the above method, paired with a method only briefly mentioned by Devine (1989) of replacing prejudiced thoughts with non-prejudiced thoughts. The author has tried this method with success. It works by counteracting a negative thought that comes to mind about a person, with a positive thought. For example if an overweight person walks by and a thought arises that she is “fat,” immediately look for something positive or beautiful about that person. Perhaps she is intelligent, has a pretty face, or a great personality. The brain begins to dissolve old pathways associated with old categories and negative thoughts and begins to form new pathways from reinvented categories to positive thoughts. The more this counteractivity is conducted, the stronger the new pathways become, until prejudiced thoughts are eliminated. This, of course is entirely up to the individual.
Intergroup Anxiety and Contact
Anxiety associated with contact of a group could be reduced by travel. This way more contact with different groups can be made. Also, when we are on vacation or travelling, it tends to increase mood because adrenalin increases in exciting situations. When adrenalin is involved in contact, it is generally interpreted as positive. For example a study done where a woman interviewed some participants on a regular bridge and some on a dangerous suspension bridge. Those interviewed on the suspension bridge were more likely to interpret the woman’s questions or actions as flirtatious and were more likely to call her afterward (J. O. Mitterer, personal communication, March, 2007). Only the individual can travel and experience contact effectively with other groups.
Contact is also important in reducing prejudice because the more we meet the individuals of an outgroup, the more we get to know them. Prototypes are examples of people we have in our head about the average or most typical person associated with that category. Exemplars are examples of that category or group drawn from actual experience. The more members of a group that we meet, the more exemplars we have to draw on. Getting to know a group in this fashion can reduce the tendency to view all of those group members the same, thus allowing us to see the true variance within the group (G. Hodson, personal communication, January 9, 2008).
Organized religion and Quest Dimension
In regard to the intrinsic/extrinsic religiosity dimensions, perhaps Allport is not so far off to say that these tendencies lie on a continuum, especially if intrinsic scales seem to be related to a desire to not appear prejudiced in front of others (Batson & Stocks, 2005). The desire to appear non-prejudiced is an aspect of the Justification-Suppression Model and correlates to those who are already have or know they have prejudice tendencies (Saucier, Miller & Doucet, 2005). Perhaps these people are “muddled-headed” as Allport would suggest (as cited by Batson & Stocks, 2005) or are not being honest on their intrinsic measures due to socially desirability. Adding a measure of low self-monitoring and/or honesty may help sort out this counter-intuitive finding.
High ingroup identification could be moderating the relationship between religion and prejudice. It has been found that those who identify highly with their ingroup are more likely to show discriminatory behaviour to outgroup members (Gagnon & Bourhis, 1996). Thus, prejudice stemming from religion could be avoided if one does not become a full member of a particular religion. It could also be avoided by reducing the importance of being a member of a group (Forgas & Fiedler, 1995). Endorsing, instead the religion as a quest path of spirituality may increase open-mindedness and create respect for other people and their beliefs. This could be an outcome because an open-minded approach to religion can allow one to see the kernels of truth in all religion.
The religion as a quest path could also lead to redefining organized religion altogether through “mysticism.” Mysticism is less influenced by politics and social influence and is more of an inward journey (H. Hunt personal communication, March 20, 2007). For example, cyclical patterns in organized religion have been seen by Weber and Troeltsch beginning with a small group of people that have similar mystical experiences (H. Hunt, personal communication, March 20, 2007). As word spreads, new definitions and guidelines of what it means to be religious pop up. Once a majority of the population are endorsing these experiences, the state becomes interested it and secularizes it, forming an organized religion. After a while new mystical experiences occur in another small group, then that too becomes secularized and/or a new branch of religion. The cycle continues and every time new mystics have different experiences they are met with resistance from the secularized versions of the previous cycle. Troeltsch hypothesized that we are coming to an end of the secularized cycle created by the Protestant Work Ethic and could be entering into a new age or mystical cycle (H. Hunt personal communication, March 20, 2007). The more mystics that experience new revised spiritual awakenings, the more the standards of organized religion can be changed. Thus changing and challenging the Protestant Work Ethic and it’s perpetuation of prejudice. Mystics are full of self-insight and are thus very important to changing the influences of prejudice.
It seems as though there are a lot of ways to reduce prejudice internally. No matter what you perceive from the outside, it all comes down to your interpretation or personal perception of the experience. Prejudice is therefore, possible to reduce, even eliminate. It seems as though a lot of research talks about intrapersonal ways of reduction so perhaps self-insight could be one of the most sufficient ways to reduce prejudice. In conclusion, reducing prejudice is a battle that must begin within, and each person must do their part if prejudice is to be eliminated.
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Prejudice: How Can We Stop It?