PROBLEMS OF ATTRIBUTION, STEREOTYPES AND PREJUDICES IN INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION

Abstract. Features of intercultural communication are actively
studied in Russia and abroad. The psychological mechanisms of
these phenomena and processes are complex structures. A feature of intercultural communication is the influence of cultural
factors of certain ethnic groups and the specificity of the culture
of a particular society. Nevertheless, it is important to investigate
the problems of attribution, stereotyping, and prejudice, given
the above factors. Theoretical research methods: analysis, synthesis, problematization, schematization, abstraction, criticism,
categorization.
The theory of casual attribution gives a complete picture of the
process of interpreting phenomena and processes by an individual, attributing the behavior of others to internal or external reasons.
The fundamental error of attribution is an overestimating of a
person’s ability: the personality factor is re-evaluated, and the
situational factor is underestimated. Attribution errors are important in intercultural communication, as participants’ behavior
maybe related to cultural, ethnic and other reasons. Misunderstanding of discourse, gestures, facial expressions, as well as
other components of the behavior of another culture leads to a
distorted interpretation, from which a negative attitude, alertness,
hostility, contempt appear. Then stereotypes come to the rescue,
which help form judgments, assumptions and estimates.
The psychological mechanism underlying the formation of the
stereotype is called the principle of saving the effort: people
bring the occurring phenomenaunder the already known categories; it is stereotypes that dictate about two-thirds of the forms of
human behavior.
“In-group favoritism” is the formation of a more positive image
of one’s group in relation to another. The result of stereotypes
leads to an ethnocentric reaction when judgments about other
people and cultures are based on an understanding of one’s own
culture. The degree of stereotyping is inversely proportional to
the experience of intercultural interaction.
Prejudices, like stereotypes, are very difficult to change, butthe
media can help change them. It is a mistake to believe that stereotypes and prejudices give in to easy change.
The conditions of modern society require increased attention to
the differences between cultures and the ability of their representatives to learn from each other, accept representatives of another culture and successfully coexist in a single space.
Keywords:intercultural communication, attribution, stereotypes,
prejudices, social psychology

Kristina A. Arzhanova
Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia
Moscow, Russia
e-mail: kristina.arzhanova@gmail.com

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