Pregnancy Blockage Effect


PREJUDICE, THEORIES OF. The term prejudice refers to an act of "prejudging" or "preconception" and is the formation of an attitude toward some issue prior to having sufficient information on that issue. A prejudice may be either negative or positive in evaluative terms concerning any particular thing, person, event, idea, or issue. A prejudice may be defined, also, as an attitude, either for or against a certain unproved hypothesis, and one that prevents the individual from evaluating new evidence correctly. The term prejudice carries an emotional implication, whereas the synonymous term bias lacks an emotional component. More commonly, in social psychology, prejudice refers to a negative attitude toward a particular group of persons based on negative traits assumed to be uniformly displayed by all members of that group (cf., doctrine of racialism - the debatable notion that although the races of people may be identical in all respects, except appearance, the races nevertheless should be kept separate; and racism is the action-backed belief that some races are superior to others; cf., systemic counseling theory - focuses on changing the social environment in group settings where the goal is to resolve racial conflicts that interfere with the growth and adjustment of minority individuals in a group, and where the counseler is a facilitator who acts as an advocate or agent of change). A related term, discrimination, refers to external, observable behaviors, whereas prejudice is applied more to internal, inferred attitudes. Another related term, stereotype, refers to a set of relatively fixed, simplistic overgenerali-zations about a group or class of people (cf., confirmation bias/effect - the tendency to test one's beliefs by seeking evidence that might confirm/verify them and to ignore evidence that might disconfirm/refute them; illusory correlation effect - an apparent correlation that does not actually exist in the data being judged, and helps to bolster superstitions, stereotypes, and prejudices; and scapegoat theory - states that people with prejudices target innocent people or groups as outlets for their own anger due to frustration). Stereotypes and prejudices differ in two ways: the former are more cognitive and concerned with thinking, whereas the latter are more affective and concerned with feelings. Consequently, stereotypes can be relatively neutral, whereas prejudices are essentially positive or negative, usually negative. Stereotype theories include social cognition perspectives such as categorization theory, schema theory, implicit personality theories, the cognitive miser theory (principle of least effort) and hypothesis-to-be-tested theories. One of the oldest theories of prejudice, the realistic conflict theory, maintains that prejudice stems from competition between social groups over valued commodities or opportunities where the greater the competition, the greater the members of the groups come to assess each other in more and more negative ways (cf., kernel of truth hypothesis - posits that a prejudice at one time or another may have had a factual basis for either a particular prejudiced person or for a group of people; and reference-group theory - states that prejudices and attitudes are determined largely by the normative or reference group from which individuals establish their interpersonal and social standards). Another theoretical approach, the us-versus-them effect or the self-categorization theory, assumes that people have a tendency to divide the social world into two distinct categories - us or them. That is, individuals view other persons as belonging either to their own social group (usually termed the ingroup) or to another group (called the outgroup). Such distinctions are based on many dimensions such as religion, race, age, sex/gender, ethnicity, geographical location, and occupation. The dual-processes theory of prejudice is based on the distinction between uncontrolled/automatic versus controlled/conscious mental processes. This theory states that stereotypes pervade the culture and exert an automatic/unconscious influence on one's perceptions of members of stereotyped groups. Once implication of the dual-processes theory is that overcoming prejudice is like attempting to resist any well-learned habit. The contact hypothesis suggests that patterns of prejudice and stereotypes can be broken by direct intergroup contact: there are potential benefits for resisting prejudice when there is close acquaintance with members of other groups. Social research indicates that intergroup contact reduces prejudice only under certain conditions: when the groups that interact are roughly equal in social, economic, or task-related status, when the contact situation involves cooperation and interdependence where the groups work toward shared goals, when contact between the groups is informal and on a one-to-one basis, when contact occurs in a setting where existing norms favor group equality, and when the persons involved view each other as typical members of their respective groups. See also ATTITUDE/ATTITUDE CHANGE, THEORIES OF; FEST-INGER'S COGNITIVE DISSONANCE THEORY. INGROUP BIAS THEORIES. REFERENCES

Lippmann, W. (1922). Public opinion. New

York: Harcourt Brace. Allport, G. (1954). The nature of prejudice.

Cambridge, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Prejudice, discrimination, and racism. Orlando, FL: Academic Press. Stephan, W. (1987). The contact hypothesis in intergroup relations. Review of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 41-67.

Turner, J., Hogg, M., Oakes, P., Reicher, S., & Wetherell, M. (1987). Rediscovering the social group: A self-categorization theory. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Kurcz, I. (1995). Inevitability and changeability of stereotypes: A review of theories. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 26, 113-128. Schneider, D. J. (2004). The psychology of stereotyping. New York: Guilford Press.

Conquering Fear In The 21th Century

Conquering Fear In The 21th Century

The Ultimate Guide To Overcoming Fear And Getting Breakthroughs. Fear is without doubt among the strongest and most influential emotional responses we have, and it may act as both a protective and destructive force depending upon the situation.

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