A Critical Discussion of the Psychological Explanations of Prejudice

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A Critical Discussion of the Psychological Explanations of Prejudice Gordon Allport described prejudice as “aversive or hostile attitude toward a person who belongs to a group, simply because he belongs to that group, and is therefore presumed to have the objectionable qualities ascribed to that group”. Prejudice is assuming things about a person putting them into a group. The aim of this essay is discuss the attempts to reduce prejudice and explain how successful they have been. In this essay, it is prejudice in the form of racism and prejudice against homosexuals that I will use It is important that we know what discrimination means. Discrimination is very similar to prejudice, rather than just being a thought or opinion on something, discrimination is the thoughts from being prejudice influencing a person’s behaviour in a negative way. There are many explanations of prejudice given by psychologists and I will write about these in my essay. One psychological theory by Stephan and Stephen called Integrated Threat Theory of Prejudice describes how fear can cause prejudice. This fear has a few sources, one being that a person has the belief that the other person will do them harm, another is the other persons attitude will challenge their own and the belief that any contact with the other person will cause embarrassment, rejection or ridicule (2000 Clayton Tucker-Ladd). Another theory by psychologists to explain prejudice is that we learn prejudiced attitudes. An example of this is it can pay to be prejudiced, such as the boss who pays his female worker 20% less than males. Another example in which people learn prejudiced ... ... middle of paper ... ... from each other’s differences. Prejudices will always be around; if people took an interest in each other then this would decrease. It is important that studies on the subject continue to help our future society. Bibliography (1999) Internet, http://innercity.org/holt/slavechron.html Eddie Baker (2004) Internet, http://www.stonewall.org.uk/stonewall/?CFID=251547&CFTOKEN=82061104 (2004) Internet, http://www.c21project.org.uk/citizenship_21/?CFID=251547&CFTOKEN=82061104 Gleitman, (1981) Psychology, Fourth Edition published by Norton pp565 Internet, http://www.beyondprejudice.com Jim Cole (2000) Internet, http://www.biography.com/search/article.jsp?aid=9340144&page=8&search Biography Resource Centre, Gale Group (2000) Internet, http://mentalhelp.net/psyhelp/ Clayton Tucker-Ladd
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