Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination

1399 words 6 pages
Most people have experienced prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination at some time in his or her life. There is no doubt social discrimination, prejudice, and hostility still create serious problems and challenges, even in today’s apparently more and more individualized and “enlightened” society. This paper will discuss prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination in the context of social psychology; what the consequences of stereotyping and discrimination are; and strategies to improve attitudes, judgments, and behaviors. Social psychologists recognize prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination “by focusing on whether they involve feelings (affect), cognition, or behaviors.” (Feenstra, 6.1 Prejudice, stereotypes, and …show more content…
4). Competition for resources can also create prejudice. This competition could be economic interests, political or military advantage, or threats to the safety or status of the group. People can become angry if they feel that a rival group is taking resources or prestige from their ingroup; and anger is a strong motive for prejudice (Feenstra, 2011). “Social discrimination results from the generalization of ingroup attributes to the inclusive category, which then become criteria for judging the outgroup. Tolerance, on the other hand is conceptualized as either a lack of inclusion of both groups in a higher order category or as the representation of the inclusive category in such a way as to also include the other group and designate it as normative.” (Mummendey & Wenzel, 1999, P. 158). “Research also indicates that when people experience a drop in self-esteem, they become more likely to express prejudice. An unfortunate implication of this research is that for some people, prejudice represents a way of maintaining their self-esteem. At the same time, the link between prejudice and self-esteem suggests a hopeful message: it may be possible to reduce prejudice with something as simple as a boost in self-esteem.” (Plous, n.d., P. 10). Stereotyping and discrimination can powerfully affect social perceptions and behavior. “Once


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