Predjudice and Discrimination as a Part of Our Cognitive Social Being

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Predjudice and Discrimination as a Part of Our Cognitive Social Being

Prejudice and Discrimination are an all to common part of

our cognitive social being, but many social psychologists

believe that it can be stopped, but only with the help of social

conditioning. In this writing I hope to explain and point out

some key terms and points made in my assigned chapter.

Prejudice refers to a special type of attitude, usually

something negative toward any group or ethnicity that is not of

one's own social class. Attitude plays a very important role in

ones cognitive framework, in that it forces our minds to process

information on certain social groups differently making a

cognitive earmark for that individual group (stereotypes).

Racially prejudiced persons take significantly longer than other

persons who are not racially prejudiced to decide whether

strangers whose racial identity is ambiguous belong to one

racial category or another(Ch.6 Pp.211). Why does prejudice

exist? Individuals hold prejudice views because doing so

allows them to bolster their own self image(Ch.6 Pp.213). By

doing this a person is making themselves believe that they are

better than another, giving them a feeling of greater

importance. A second reason for holding prejudice views is

that doing so can save us considerable cognitive effort(Ch.6

Pp.213). In sorts prejudice views are a form of collective

representation because a person forms views of certain social

groups through analyzing the individual traits of one group

member, forming one opinion for the whole group.

Now when prejudice is acted upon by an individual it is

called discrimination. In recent years discrimination has

decreased, yet it has all b...

... middle of paper ...

...ment, another form of gender prejudice is most seen in

the work place because of the constant interactions between

males and females on a frequent basis. The sex role spill-over

theory makes some very curious predictions . According to this

framework, women working in certain environments-ones

which most employees are male-will be more likely to

experience sexual harassment than ones working in more

traditional environments(ch.6Pp.245). Yet people will tend to

view such harassment, when it occurs as less threatening or

coercive than it would be in traditional environments. This is

because they are perceived as role deviates-people who

depart from traditional roles.

From the dialectic point of view we have come a long way in

diminishing racism and discrimination. However, we still have a way to

go before our world truly reflects our ideologies.

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