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WHAT ARE STEREOTYPES, PREJUDICE, AND DISCRIMINATION?

  • Prejudice is a negative learned attitude toward particular
    groups of people. Prejudice often leads to discrimination, or negative behaviour directed toward members of a particular group. Common types of prejudice are racial prejudice and gender prejudice.

  • Stereotypes may bias our perceptions and responses even if we do not personally agree with them. Neurological studies indicate that people have a natural tendency to classify others as part of a racial "ingroup" or "outgroup." This often translates into real–world behaviours, such as racial profiling.

  • Overt discrimination still occurs, as seen in the existence of hate groups and hate crimes. However, it is less common in modern society. Covert prejudice and aversive racism are still prevalent in our society, and often involve various forms of racism and sexism.

HOW DO WE MEASURE STEREOTYPES, PREJUDICE, AND DISCRIMINATION?

  • The discussion of stereotypes goes back to the difference between automatic and controlled processing, as stereotyping is a function of the quicker automatic processing.Researchers have
    found different measures of stereotyping and racism in the distinction between old–fashioned and modern racism.

  • Covert measures of prejudice work to uncover bias that is unconscious, and often unintended. While some people say prejudice is a thing of the past, tests such as the Implicit Association Test help to uncover such phenomena as hidden bias and aversive racism.

WHAT ARE THE SOURCES OF STEREOTYPING AND PREJUDICE?

  • Stereotyping and prejudice originate from several different sources: how we were brought up, the way thatour brains classify individuals as part of an ingroup or an outgroup, and motivating factors such as group competition and individual emotional status.

  • Groups are motivated to compete for resources, such as jobs, land, or wealth. When resources are scarce, groups tend to close ranks, favouring ingroup members and discriminating against
    outgroup members.

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF STEREOTYPING?

  • Stereotyping influences our perception of people and their behaviour. Our natural instinct is to remember stereotype–consistent information but to ignore information that contradicts the stereotype. When we interact with people based on a preconceived stereotype, we influence their behaviour, creating a self–fulfilling prophecy.

  • A further consequence of stereotyping is stereotype threat, or the fear held by people in minority groups that they might conform to a negative cultural stereotype. Anxiety caused by stereotype threat affects people’s performances at school and in the workplace.

HOW CAN WE COMBAT STEREOTYPING AND PREJUDICE?

  • We can attempt to combat stereotypes and prejudice using four different techniques: increased contact with people in minority groups, increased interdependence between groups, better education, and improved personal motivation. Apologies for historical injustices can help to ease group tensions, but only if they are perceived as genuine and perpetrators take responsibility for their actions.

  • The jigsaw classroom is one example of increasing interdependence between groups. Students work in a cooperative rather than competitive environment, gaining self–confidence and learning how to work with people from different racial and ethnic groups.