Prejudice, Stereotyping and Discrimination





Prejudice, Stereotyping and Discrimination

            Prejudice and discrimination are related in terms of definition and manifestation. In psychology, prejudice refers to unfounded and frequently negative thoughts toward an individual or a group. The ordinary characteristics of prejudice include unenthusiastic feelings, typecasting beliefs and a propensity to favor specific members of the group (Baumeister, Roy, and Finkel 12). While detailed descriptions of prejudice availed by social scientists are different, the common factor is pessimistic prejudgments. Discrimination closely follows instances of prejudice. Therefore, discrimination is the actual actions generated by prejudice. There is a close difference between prejudice and discrimination. Prejudiced people may choose to refrain from acting on their attitude (Baumeister et al. 21). Consequently, one can be prejudiced towards a specific individual or group but desist from any form of discrimination. Acts of discrimination are intended to express an individual or group stand as being unfavorable to another. For instance, racial discrimination was evident in South Africa and Germany.

            Stereotyping refers to the thought process of making general assumption about an individual or a group based on their physical, cognitive or social characteristics. Therefore, stereotyping associates specific behavior or elements to certain groups or individuals. It is a useful phenomenon since it allows human beings to predict how another person would react in every situation (Baumeister et al. 27). However, it is also disadvantageous since it makes the same analyst to overlook the unique differences that separate each person. For instance, holding a stereotype that all lawyers are cunning may help the person in dealing with such professionals. However, it may also block them from seeing honest attorneys who may be in the best position to help them win a case (Baumeister et al. 36). In most societies, female stereotypes wrongly assume that they are weak and incapable. Globally, Muslims are stereotyped as being terrorists while native Indians are stereotyped as gamblers.

Work Cited

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Baumeister, Roy F, and Eli J. Finkel. Advanced Social Psychology: The State of the Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.

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