Social Interpersonal Growth Psychotherapy

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Prejudice

discrinination

No one is born hating a specific racial, religious or ethnic group. People are taught to hate. As children the observation of parents, other adults, and peers greatly influence how we feel about members of certain groups. When our primary source of information comes from inaccurate portrayals such as stereotypes we become more likely to believe certain things as the truth. According to the social identity theory we use  group membership as a source of pride and self worth. We at times magnify the group we belong to so much that we start to feel as though the other groups are inferior, this results in prejudice towards said group.

Prejudice is a baseless and usually negative attitude toward members of a group. Common features of prejudice include negative feelings, stereotyped beliefs, and a tendency to discriminate against members of the group. While specific definitions of prejudice given by social scientists often differ, most agree that it involves prejudgments (usually negative) about members of a group.  Prejudice can be based upon a number of factors including sex, race, age, sexual orientations, nationality, socioeconomic status and religion.

Prejudice can be based upon a number of factors including sex, race, age, sexual orientations, nationality, socioeconomic status and religion. Some of the most well-known types of prejudice include:
Racism
Sexism
Classicism
Homophobia
Nationalism
Religious prejudice

Sterotype:

When prejudice occurs, stereotyping and discrimination may also result. In many cases, prejudices are based upon stereotypes. A stereotype is a simplified assumption about a group based on prior assumptions. Stereotypes can be both positive (“women are warm and nurturing”) or negative (“teenagers are lazy”). Stereotypes can lead to faulty beliefs, but they can also result in both prejudice and discrimination.

Discrimination:

Discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race; the practice of treating somebody or a particular group in society less fairly than others

Prejudice: Negative Attitudes about and Treatment of Others

Prejudices are the negative (or positive) evaluation of a particular group and its members.

Although prejudice can be positive (“I love the Irish”), social psychologists have focused on understanding the roots of negative prejudice (“I hate immigrants”).

Two main forms of prejudice:

  • Explicit: Prejudices that people display publicly.
  • Implicit: Prejudices that people keep hidden from the public view

Discrimination: Differential Treatment of Individuals

Acting on negative stereotypes results in discrimination —behavior directed toward individuals on the basis of their membership in a particular group.

  • In-Group: the group a person identifies with
  • Out-Group: groups that are treated with prejudice

When prejudice occurs, stereotyping and discrimination may also result. In many cases, prejudices are based upon stereotypes. A stereotype is a simplified assumption about a group based on prior assumptions. Stereotypes can be both positive (“women are warm and nurturing”) or negative (“teenagers are lazy”). Stereotypes can lead to faulty beliefs, but they can also result in both prejudice and discrimination.

Ways to Reduce Prejudice – DIVERSITYdiversity

  • In addition to looking at the reasons why prejudice occurs, researchers have also explored different ways that prejudice can be reduced or even eliminated. Training people to become more empathetic to members of other groups is one method that has shown considerable success. By imaging themselves in the same situation, people are able to think about how they would react and gain a greater understanding of other people’s actions.
  • Other techniques that are used to reduce prejudice include:
  • Passing laws and regulations that require fair and equal treatment for all groups of people.
  • Gaining public support and awareness for anti-prejudice social norms.
  • Making people aware of the inconsistencies in their own beliefs.
  • Increased contact with members of other social groups.

 

References:
Aronson, E., (2012) The Social Animal(11th ed). New York: Worth Publishers
Myers, D., (2015) Exploring Social Psychology(7th ed). McGraw Hill.

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