Mrs. Elliot's third-grade class and the adults who work in prison presents a good case scenario of the world and how it shapes individual perspective towards people who are different. The two cases are a good depiction of the concept of racism and prejudice in the society that is experienced by the minority groups which are defined by their skin color. The video experiment shows why people behave the way they do in the community especially the aggressiveness of the black Americans who feel offended by being judged based on their skin color. This response will assess the theoretical perspectives behind the children in Mrs. Elliot class and the adult prison workers based on their behavior and the setting which makes them behave in such a way.
Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination
Stereotypes are the common generalized views towards a particular group of people for a specific aspect. The generalization results in a belief that the stereotype is shared amongst all the people with a particular classification. In the case of the children, there is a common stereotype against the blue-eyed people who are said to be violent and whereas the brown-eyed people are said to be calm and reserved. The division of the class based on stereotyping takes immediate effect as the children start to discriminate against the blue-eyed people (Crawford, Lizabeth and Novak 162). Stereotyping, in this case, is shown to cause discrimination, discord, and prejudice. This results in a repeated cycle of hatred and discrimination which makes the blue-eyed children in the experiment and the blue-eyed prison workers offended, and they respond aggressively and rebelliously. This phenomenon can be seen in the racial stereotyping in America today where the blacks are discriminated and prejudiced against, and they react by being violent.
Attribution Theory, Disposition Causality, and Realistic Conflict
The experiment shows that the causal response towards stereotyping which can be explained using the attribution theory. The theory argues that information received is used to make causal explanations which occur when Mrs. Elliot gives information to the children and the adult prison workers regarding a particular group of people (Manusov, Valerie, and Spitzberg 37). The blue eyes people are fast to use Mrs. Elliot information to make attribution decision regarding the behavior of the blue-eyed people. As a result, there is resulting in-groups which are caused by the disposition attributes which infer people's behavior based on their factors such as traits. For instance, the attribution of black people as gang members based on their dark color and violent tendencies is a dispositional attribute (Huttemann 100). Realistic conflict theory can be used to explain the hostility that results between the brown-eyed children and the blue-eyed children because they all want to be perceived as superior and the brown-eyed group despises the group which Mrs. Elliot declares superior.
Reaction and Lesson Learned from the Video
Watching the video has increased my perception of prejudice and stereotyping as human-made reactions which can be changed through early education and experience of the same. In the video, the perception of the children at the beginning of the experiment towards black people is very negative which is due to prejudice and stereotypes they have heard in the community. However, upon being put in a similar situation, the children change their perceptions towards in-group biasness, and in the meeting with the children as adults, it is clear that their attitude changed completely. Therefore, using the same method in the community through the community centers and schools can significantly end the negative stereotyped, prejudiced, and discriminative perspectives amongst diverse people which can promote harmony and equality in the society.
Crawford, Lizabeth A., and Katherine B. Novak. Individual and society: Sociological social psychology. Routledge, 2018.p. 162
Huttemann, Andreas. "A disposition-based process theory of causation." (2013). p. 100 Retrieved from https://philarchive.org/archive/HTTADP
Manusov, Valerie, and Brian Spitzberg. Attribution theory. na, 2008. p. 37 Retrieved from www.corwin.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/21200_Chapter_3.pdf
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