Define and distinguish amongst prejudice, stereotypes, and discriminationProvide instances of prejudice, stereotypes, and discriminationExplain why prejudice and also discrimination exist

Human problem can an outcome in crime, war, and mass murder, such as genocide. Prejudice and also discrimination often are root causes of person conflict, which describes how strangers involved hate one another to the too much of leading to others harm. Prejudice and also discrimination affect everyone. In this section we will examine the definitions of prejudice and also discrimination, instances of this concepts, and also causes of these biases.

You are watching: Negative feelings, opinions, and beliefs associated with a stereotype are known as


Prejudice and discrimination occur throughout the globe. (a) A 1939 authorize in German-occupied Poland advises “No Entrance for Poles!” (b) A Black man drinks from a designated “colored” water fractional in Oklahoma in 1939 throughout the era of racial segregation as a exercise of discrimination. (c) A member of the Westboro Baptist Church, widely identified as a dislike group, engages in discrimination based on religion and sexual orientation. (credit b: alteration of work-related by United says Farm defense Administration; credit transaction c: modification of occupational by “JCWilmore”/Wikimedia Commons)


as we debated in the opened story the Trayvon Martin, human beings are really diverse and although us share countless similarities, we additionally have plenty of differences. The social teams we belong come help type our identities (Tajfel, 1974). These distinctions may be difficult for some world to reconcile, which may bring about prejudice toward human being who room different. Prejudice is a an adverse attitude and feeling towards an individual based specifically on one’s membership in a particular social group (Allport, 1954; Brown, 2010). Prejudice is common against people who are members of one unfamiliar cultural group. Thus, certain varieties of education, contact, interactions, and also building relationships through members that different social groups have the right to reduce the tendency toward prejudice. In fact, simply imagining communicating with members that different cultural groups might influence prejudice. Indeed, when experimental participants were asked come imagine themselves interacting positively v someone from a various group, this led to an raised positive mindset toward the other team and an increase in hopeful traits connected with the various other group. Furthermore, imagined social interaction deserve to reduce anxiety linked with inter-group interactions (Crisp & Turner, 2009). What room some examples of social teams that girlfriend belong come that add to your identity? Social teams can encompass gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, society class, religion, sex-related orientation, profession, and also many more. And, together is true for social roles, you have the right to simultaneously it is in a member of much more than one society group. An example of prejudice is having actually a an adverse attitude toward people who are not born in the joined States. Although world holding this prejudiced mindset do not know all human being who were no born in the united States, they dislike them because of their status as foreigners.

The following video clip on undocumented americans was produced by the American mental Association.

Can you think that a prejudiced attitude you have actually held toward a team of people? numerous times prejudice and bias are not obvious and also can be found in the type of microaggressions. This post includes a definition, video, and studies ~ above microaggressions. Student of shade face many microaggressions. These slights of words, actions, and more are no easily always easily identified.

How did your prejudice develop? Prejudice often starts in the type of a stereotype—that is, a particular belief or assumption around individuals based specifically on your membership in a group, regardless of their individual characteristics. Stereotypes end up being overgeneralized when applied to every members of a group. Because that example, someone holding prejudiced attitudes toward enlarge adults, may think that older adults are slow and also incompetent (Cuddy, Norton, & Fiske, 2005; Nelson, 2004). We cannot possibly understand each individual human being of progressed age to know that every older adults space slow and incompetent. Therefore, this negative belief is overgeneralized to all members the the group, also though countless of the individual group members might in fact be spry and intelligent.

Another example of a popular stereotype involves beliefs around racial differences amongst athletes. As Hodge, Burden, Robinson, and also Bennett (2008) allude out, black color male athletes space often believed to be an ext athletic, yet much less intelligent, 보다 their White male counterparts. These ideas persist in spite of a number of high profile instances to the contrary. Sadly, such beliefs often influence just how these athletes space treated by others and how they check out themselves and also their very own capabilities. Whether or not you agree with a stereotype, stereotypes space generally well-known within in a given society (Devine, 1989).

Sometimes civilization will action on your prejudiced mindsets toward a team of people, and also this behavior is well-known as discrimination. Discrimination is negative action toward an individual as a result of one’s membership in a specific group (Allport, 1954; Dovidio & Gaertner, 2004). As a an outcome of holding negative beliefs (stereotypes) and an adverse attitudes (prejudice) around a particular group, human being often law the target that prejudice poorly, such together excluding older adult from your circle the friends. The table listed below summarizes the characteristics of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Have actually you ever before been the target of discrimination? If so, just how did this an unfavorable treatment do you feel?

Connecting Stereotypes, Prejudice, and also DiscriminationItemFunctionConnectionExample
StereotypeCognitive; thoughts around peopleOvergeneralized beliefs about people may lead to prejudice.“Yankees fans room arrogant and also obnoxious.”
PrejudiceAffective; feelings around people, both positive and also negativeFeelings may influence treatment of others, causing discrimination.“I dislike Yankees fans; they do me angry.”
DiscriminationBehavior; positive or negative treatment of othersHolding stereotypes and also harboring prejudice may result in excluding, avoiding, and also biased treatment of group members.“I would never hire nor become friends v a human being if ns knew he or she to be a Yankees fan.”

So far, we’ve disputed stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination as an unfavorable thoughts, feelings, and also behaviors since these are typically the most problematic. However, the is important to also allude out that human being can organize positive thoughts, feelings, and also behaviors towards individuals based on group membership; because that example, lock would show preferential therapy for world who are choose themselves—that is, who share the exact same gender, race, or favorite sports team.

This video demonstrates the principles of prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination. In the video, a society experiment is conducted in a park where 3 people try to steal a bike the end in the open. The race and gender the the theif is varied: a White masculine teenager, a black male teenager, and also a White female. Go anyone shot to prevent them? The treatment of the teenagers in the video clip demonstrates the principle of racism.


once we meet strangers us automatically procedure three pieces of information about them: their race, gender, and age (Ito & Urland, 2003). Why space these facets of one unfamiliar person so important? Why don’t we instead notice whether your eyes are friendly, even if it is they room smiling, their height, the form of clothing they are wearing? back these secondary characteristics are important in creating a an initial impression that a stranger, the society categories that race, gender, and also age are particularly salient (i.e. Grab our attention) and seemingly gives a wealth of information around an individual. This information, however, frequently is based on stereotypes. We may have different expectations the strangers depending upon their race, gender, and age. What stereotypes and prejudices execute you hold about people who room from a race, gender, and also age group various from your own?


Racism is prejudice and discrimination against an individual based exclusively on one’s member in a specific racial group (such as towards African Americans, asian Americans, Latinx people, aboriginal Americans). What are some stereotypes of miscellaneous racial or ethnic groups? study suggests social stereotypes for oriental Americans encompass cold, sly, and also intelligent; for Latinx people, cold and also unintelligent; because that European Americans, cold and intelligent; and for afri Americans, aggressive, athletic, and an ext likely come be legislation breakers (Devine & Elliot, 1995; Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, & Xu, 2002; Sommers & Ellsworth, 2000; Dixon & Linz, 2000).

Racism exist for countless racial and ethnic groups. For example, Black people are significantly an ext likely to have actually their vehicles searched throughout traffic stops 보다 White people, specifically when Black human being are control in predominately White neighborhoods, (a phenomenon often termed “DWB,” or “driving while Black.”) (Rojek, Rosenfeld, & Decker, 2012)

Mexican Americans and also other Latinx groups additionally are targets that racism native the police and other members the the community. Because that example, once purchasing items through a personal check, Latinx shoppers are an ext likely than White shoppers to it is in asked to present formal identification (Dovidio et al., 2010).

In one situation of alleged harassment through the police, several east Haven, Connecticut, police police officers were arrested on commonwealth charges due to reportedly ongoing harassment and also brutalization of Latinx people. When the accusations came out, the mayor of east Haven was asked, “What are you doing because that the Latinx community today?” The mayor responded, “I can have tacos once I walk home, i’m not rather sure yet” (“East Haven Mayor,” 2012). This explain undermines the important concern of gyeongju profiling and police harassment that Latinx people, while belittling Latinx culture by emphasizing an interest in a food product stereotypically connected with Latinx people.

Racism is common toward countless other teams in the united States including Native Americans, Arab Americans, Jewish Americans, and Asian Americans. Have actually you witnessed racism toward any type of of these racial or ethnic groups? room you mindful of racism in your community?

All students need to be motivated to report instances that racism. This website shows how students can report discrimination. student can also gain cultivate on discrimination because that free:

One reason modern-day forms of racism, and prejudice in general, are tough to recognize is concerned the twin attitudes model (Wilson, Lindsey, & Schooler, 2000). Humans have actually two develops of attitudes: explicit attitudes, which space conscious and also controllable, and also implicit attitudes, which room unconscious and uncontrollable (Devine, 1989; Olson & Fazio, 2003). Because holding egalitarian views is socially preferable (Plant & Devine, 1998), most human being do not show extreme racial bias or other prejudices on measures of your explicit attitudes. However, actions of implicit perspectives often show evidence of gentle to strong racial prejudice or other prejudices (Greenwald, McGee, & Schwartz, 1998; Olson & Fazio, 2003).


Sexism is prejudice and discrimination toward individuals based upon their sex. Typically, sexism bring away the form of men holding biases versus women, however either sex can display sexism towards their own or your opposite sex. Favor racism, sexism might be ethereal and challenging to detect. Usual forms that sexism in modern society encompass gender role expectations, such as expecting females to it is in the caretakers that the household. Sexism additionally includes people’s expectations for just how members the a gender group should behave. For example, women are expected to be friendly, passive, and nurturing, and when females behave in an unfriendly, assertive, or neglectful way they regularly are disliked for violating your gender function (Rudman, 1998). Research by Laurie Rudman (1998) finds that as soon as female project applicants self-promote, lock are most likely to be regarded as competent, however they may be disliked and are less likely to be hired due to the fact that they violated gender expectations for modesty. Sexism deserve to exist ~ above a societal level such as in hiring, employment opportunities, and also education. Females are much less likely come be rental or promoted in male-dominated professions such as engineering, aviation, and also construction (figure below) (Blau, Ferber, & Winkler, 2010; Ceci & Williams, 2011). Have actually you ever experienced or observed sexism? Think about your family members members’ work or careers. Why do you think over there are differences in the jobs women and also men have, together as much more women nurses but much more male operated doctor (Betz, 2008)?


Women currently have many jobs formerly closed to them, despite they tho face obstacles in male-dominated occupations. (credit: “Alex”/Flickr)


people often type judgments and hold expectations around people based on their age. These judgments and also expectations can lead to ageism, or prejudice and discrimination toward individuals based exclusively on their age. Typically, ageism occurs against older adults, however ageism also can take place toward younger adults. Think of expectations you host for older adults. How could someone’s expectations influence the feelings they organize toward individuals from older age groups? Ageism is extensive in U.S. Society (Nosek, 2005), and a typical ageist attitude toward older adult is that they are incompetent, physically weak, and slow (Greenberg, Schimel, & Martens, 2002) and some civilization consider older adults much less attractive. Part cultures, however, consisting of some Asian, Latinx, and also African American cultures, both outside and also within the United claims afford older adult respect and honor.

Ageism can likewise occur toward younger adults. What expectations perform you host toward younger people? Does society expect younger adult to it is in immature and also irresponsible? How might these two develops of ageism affect a younger and also older adult that are applying for a sales salesman position?


Another form of prejudice is homophobia: prejudice and discrimination of people based solely on their sex-related orientation. Like ageism, homophobia is a prevalent prejudice in U.S. Society that is tolerated by many people (Herek & McLemore, 2013; Nosek, 2005). An adverse feelings often an outcome in discrimination, such as the exclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA*) world from society groups and the avoidance that LGBTQIA* neighbors and co-workers. This discrimination also extends come employers deliberately decreasing to hire qualified LGBTQIA* job applicants. Have actually you knowledgeable or experienced homophobia? If so, what stereotypes, prejudiced attitudes, and discrimination to be evident? If you room a LGBTQIA+ student that is encountering some form of discrimination, resources are accessible at:

Some human being are fairly passionate in their hatred because that nonheterosexuals in ours society. In some cases, people have been tortured and/or murdered simply since they were not heterosexual. This passionate response has led some researchers to inquiry what motives might exist for homophobic people. Adams, Wright, & Lohr (1996) carried out a examine investigating this issue and their results were rather an eye-opener.

In this experiment, masculine college student were offered a range that assessed how homophobic they were; those with too much scores were recruited to get involved in the experiment. In the end, 64 men agreed to participate and also were split into 2 groups: homophobic men and nonhomophobic men. Both teams of males were fitted through a penile plethysmograph, one instrument the measures transforms in blood circulation to the penis and also serves together an target measurement of sex-related arousal.

All guys were presented segments the sexually clearly videos. Among these videos connected a sex-related interaction in between a man and also a woman (heterosexual clip). One video displayed two females involved in a sexual interaction (lesbian clip), and the final video clip displayed 2 men engaged in a sexual communication (gay clip). Transforms in penile tumescence were recorded during all three clips, and a spatu measurement of sexual arousal was additionally obtained. If both teams of men came to be sexually aroused come the heterosexual and lesbian video clips, only those men who were identified as homophobic showed sexual arousal to the gay video clip. While all males reported the their erections shown arousal for the heterosexual and also lesbian clips, the homophobic men indicated that lock were no sexually aroused (despite their erections) come the gay clips. Adams et al. (1996) suggest that this findings may show that homophobia is regarded homosexual arousal that the homophobic people either refuse or space unaware.


Prejudice and discrimination persist in society due to society learning and also conformity to society norms. Kids learn prejudiced attitudes and also beliefs indigenous society: their parents, teachers, friends, the media, and also other resources of socialization, such as on facebook (O’Keeffe & Clarke-Pearson, 2011). If certain varieties of prejudice and also discrimination are acceptable in a society, there may be normative pressure to conform and also share those prejudiced beliefs, attitudes, and also behaviors. For example, public and private institutions are still somewhat segregated by social class. Historically, only kids from rich families can afford come attend personal schools, whereas kids from middle- and also low-income families frequently attended public schools. If a son from a low-income family members received a merit scholarship to attend a private school, how could the boy be treated by classmates?

Redlining is one more example the this. In the 1930’s, world of color were moved out of brand-new suburban residences into urban housing projects also known together redlined areas. Redlined areas were intentionally given less support from the government, developing lower top quality public education and lower pay because that teachers (Jan 2018).

Can friend recall a time when you organized prejudiced perspectives or ideas or acted in a discriminatory manner because your group of friends supposed you to?


when we organize a stereotype about a person, we have expectations the he or she will satisfy that stereotype. A self-fulfilling prophecy is an expectation held by a human being that alters his or her habits in a method that often tends to illicit the expected behavior in one more individual. As soon as we host stereotypes about a person, we tend to treat the human being according come our expectations. This treatment have the right to influence the human being to act follow to our stereotypic expectations, therefore confirming our stereotypic beliefs. Research study by Rosenthal and also Jacobson (1968) discovered that disadvantaged students who teachers supposed them to execute well had higher grades than disadvantaged students whose teachers expected them to execute poorly.

Consider this example of cause and effect in a self-fulfilling prophecy: If an employer expects an openly gay male job applicant to be incompetent, the potential employer can treat the applicant negatively during the interview through engaging in much less conversation, making tiny eye contact, and also generally behaving coldly towards the applicant (Hebl, Foster, Mannix, & Dovidio, 2002). In turn, the job applicant will perceive the the potential employer dislikes him, and also he will respond through giving much shorter responses come interview questions, making much less eye contact, and also generally disengaging from the interview. After ~ the interview, the employer will certainly reflect on the applicant’s behavior, which seemed cold and also distant, and the employer will conclude, based upon the applicant’s poor performance throughout the interview, the the applicant to be in truth incompetent. Thus, the employer’s stereotype—gay men are incompetent and do no make good employees—is reinforced. Carry out you think this task applicant is most likely to be hired? Treating individuals according to stereotypic beliefs can cause prejudice and discrimination.

Another dynamic that have the right to reinforce stereotypes is check bias. When connecting with the target of ours prejudice, we tend to pay attention to details that is consistent with our stereotypic expectations and ignore info that is inconsistent through our expectations. In this process, well-known as confirmation bias, we seek out info that support our stereotypes and also ignore info that is inconsistent v our stereotypes (Wason & Johnson-Laird, 1972). In the task interview example, the employer may not have noticed the the project applicant to be friendly and also engaging, and also that he detailed competent responses come the interview concerns in the start of the interview. Instead, the employer focused on the job applicant’s power in the later component of the interview, after the applicant adjusted his demeanor and also behavior to match the interviewer’s an unfavorable treatment.

Have you ever fallen prey to the self-fulfilling prophecy or confirmation bias, either as the source or target of together bias? How could we avoid the bike of the self-fulfilling prophecy? Social course stereotypes of individuals tend come arise once information about the separation, personal, instance is ambiguous. If information is unambiguous, stereotypes carry out not tend to to happen (Baron et al., 1995).


As discussed previously in this section, us all belong to a gender, race, age, and also socioeconomic group. This groups provide a an effective source of ours identity and also self-esteem (Tajfel & Turner, 1979). These groups serve as our in-groups. An in-group is a group that we recognize with or check out ourselves together belonging to. A group that us don’t belonging to, or an out-group, is a team that we watch as fundamentally various from us. Because that example, if you space a woman, your gender in-group consists of all women, and your gender out-group contains all men (figure below). World often view gender groups together being fundamentally various from each various other in personality traits, characteristics, society roles, and also interests. Since we frequently feel a solid sense that belonging and also emotional link to our in-groups, we construct in-group bias: a preference for our own group over various other groups. This in-group bias can an outcome in prejudice and discrimination because the out-group is regarded as different and also is less wanted than our in-group.


These youngsters are very young, yet they are currently aware the their sex in-group and out-group. (credit: change of work by Simone Ramella)

in spite of the group dynamics that seem only to push groups toward conflict, there are forces that encourage reconciliation in between groups: the expression the empathy, of acknowledgment of past suffering on both sides, and the halt of devastating behaviors.

One duty of prejudice is to aid us feel an excellent about ourselves and maintain a optimistic self-concept. This should feel good about ourself extends to our in-groups: We desire to feel an excellent and defend our in-groups. We seek to deal with threats individually and also at the group level. This frequently happens through blaming one out-group because that the problem. Scapegoating is the act of blaming an out-group when the in-group experiences disappointed or is clogged from obtaining a score (Allport, 1954).


As diverse individuals, humans can experience conflict when connecting with civilization who are different from every other. Prejudice, or an unfavorable feelings and also evaluations, is usual when people are native a different social team (i.e., out-group). Negative attitudes toward out-groups deserve to lead to discrimination. Prejudice and also discrimination against others can be based upon gender, race, ethnicity, social class, sex-related orientation, or a selection of other social identities. In-group’s who feel threatened might blame the out-groups for your plight, for this reason using the out-group as a scapegoat for their frustration.


Openstax Psychology message by Kathryn Dumper, william Jenkins, Arlene Lacombe, Marilyn Lovett and also Marion Perlmutter licensed under CC by v4.0.


Review Questions: 

1. Prejudice is to ________ as discrimination is come ________.

a. Feelings; behavior

b. Thoughts; feelings

c. Feelings; thoughts

d. Behavior; feelings

2. Which of the following is not a form of prejudice?

a. Homophobia

b. Racism

c. Sexism

d. Individualism

3. ________ occurs when the out-group is blamed for the in-group’s frustration.

a. Stereotyping

b. In-group bias

c. Scapegoating

d. Ageism

4. Once we look for out info that support our stereotypes we are involved in ________.

a. Scapegoating

b. Check bias

c. Self-fulfilling prophecy

d. In-group bias

Critical thinking Questions:

1. Some people seem more willing come openly screen prejudice concerning sexual orientation than prejudice regarding race and gender. Speculate on why this could be.

2. When human being blame a scapegoat, just how do girlfriend think they pick evidence to support the blame?

Personal application Questions:

1. Give an instance when girlfriend felt that someone was prejudiced against you. What perform you think caused this attitude? go this human display any discrimination habits and, if so, how?

2. Give an example when you felt prejudiced versus someone else. Just how did girlfriend discriminate against them? Why carry out you think girlfriend did this?



confirmation bias




in-group bias





self-fulfilling prophecy



Answers come Exercises

Review Questions: 

1. A

2. D

3. C

4. B

Critical reasoning Questions:

1. In the united States, numerous people believe that sex-related orientation is a choice, and also there is some controversy in the research study literature as to the extent sexual orientation is organic or influenced by society factors. Because race and also gender space not chosen, many Americans believe it is unfair to negative judge ladies or racial minority groups for a characteristic that is identified by genetics. In addition, many human being in the unified States practice religions that think homosexuality is wrong.

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2. One method in i m sorry they could do this is to selectively deal with information that would bolster your argument. Furthermore, lock may actively seek out info to check their assertions.


ageism: prejudice and also discrimination toward individuals based exclusively on your age

confirmation bias: seeking out details that support our stereotypes when ignoring details that is inconsistent through our stereotypes

discrimination: negative action toward people as a an outcome of their membership in a certain group

homophobia: prejudice and discrimination against individuals based specifically on their sex-related orientation

in-group: group the we identify with or view ourselves together belonging to

in-group bias: preference for our own team over various other groups

out-group: group that us don’t belonging to—one that we check out as fundamentally different from us

prejudice: negative attitudes and also feelings toward individuals based solely on their membership in a details group

racism: prejudice and also discrimination toward individuals based specifically on your race

scapegoating: act of blaming one out-group as soon as the in-group experiences disappointed or is blocked from obtaining a goal

self-fulfilling prophecy: treating stereotyped team members follow to our biased expectations only to have this treatment affect the individual to act follow to ours stereotypic expectations, for this reason confirming our stereotypic beliefs

sexism: prejudice and also discrimination toward individuals based upon their sex

stereotype: specific beliefs or assumptions around individuals based solely on your membership in a group, regardless of your individual characteristics