Explain ways in which stereotypes can influence memory for and perceptions of events.

Part I

The Uniform Crime Reports page on the FBI government Web site provides links for their annual Crime in the United States publications. Before you are able to view one of these reports, you are given the following disclaimer:

Caution Against Ranking

Each year when Crime in the United States is published, some entities use reported figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, or region. Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment.

Why do you think this cautionary notice is given before users are directed to the FBI’s Crime in the United States publication? Expand on your viewpoint and find credible sources to support your rationale.

If you would like to visit the Web site, go to http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm#cius.

Part II

Go to http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm#cius, again. Scroll down to the section entitled, Hate Crime Statistics, and click on “Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines and Training Manual.

Using this training guide, complete the following:

  • Define and describe the following terms:
    • Prejudice
    • Stereotype
    • Discrimination
    • Racism
    • Sexism
    • In-group
    • Out-group
    • Conformity
    • Institutional supports
    • Social categorization
  • Point out the distinction between institutional prejudice and personal prejudice.
  • Explain ways in which stereotypes can influence memory for and perceptions of events.
  • What are common stereotypes of the specific minority groups explained in the training guide? How may one differentiate those stereotypes from accurate descriptions of the minority groups?
  • Identify the principal psychological motivations underlying prejudice.

Part III

Based on the information you obtained in Parts I and II, do you think there could be racial or ethnic discrimination in arrests? Does cultural diversity have an impact on law enforcement practice? Provide evidence to support your answer accompanied by proper citation in SPA format.

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