Psychology Question- Prejudice

Psychology Question- Prejudice

A Review of Prejudice

Prejudice is a prevailing problem in society that significantly affects people from specific groups and communities. Prejudice is an opinion or assumption about individuals based on their membership in certain groups (Myers & Twenge, 2018). Many people who act on their prejudices tend to prejudge others before knowing them on a deeper level. This leads to an irrational mindset and attitude that leads to negative outcomes for anyone involved. The common features of prejudices include stereotyped beliefs, negative feelings, and discriminating against members of a specific community or group. Prejudices are based on certain factors such as religion, age, race, sex, socioeconomic status, nationality, and sexual orientation. Some of the most common types of prejudices in society include sexism, racism, nationalism, ageism, homophobia, classism, xenophobia, and religious prejudice.

In general, prejudices are against a group of people such as a race, a family, a condition such as a mental deficiency, even economic status. They can be formed within those same groups. For example, the idea that homosexuals are pedophiles is an example of prejudice. Other sexualities, including pansexuals, have negative things attributed to them – mostly due to the politicized nature of gender and sexuality now (Myers & Twenge, 2018). There are also ethnic prejudices. For instance, many people believe their ethnicity is superior today – including many in Japan and China, some in Europe and regard others like Arabs, Latinos, and Indians as inferior. Some people will simply dislike others because of what country they come from. Also, whenever someone has been known to have a mental illness, there is automatic discrimination to not trust the person or that they are automatically prone to be involved in criminal activity or drug use.

When individuals have prejudicial attitudes towards certain groups, they tend to view members of those groups as the same. They paint negative pictures of all individuals’ holdings specific beliefs and characteristics and fail to recognize them individually. This not only leads to negative interactions but also conflicts, misunderstandings, and poor communication (Myers & Twenge, 2018). It can also lead to stigma on the prejudiced individuals in the society. Individuals on the receiving end of prejudices are significantly impacted. Not only does the presumptions, stereotypes, and biases affect their ability fit in the society but it also inflicts true hurt.

My Thoughts on Prejudice

I think prejudice is a major topic that significantly helps people understand how their attitudes can affect other people in society. Prejudices come in many forms and paint individuals belonging to particular groups to hold certain beliefs or characteristics. This may lead to negative attitudes, especially those who believe in the stereotypes or assume what is said to be correct. People mostly depend on their abilities to place ideas of people and objects into diverse groups to make the world understandable and easier. They are simply inundated with a lot of stereotypical information that may lead to prejudice. I think that prejudice is a mental mistake that should be eradicated in society.

As a result of prejudice, I think that people struggle to put down other people. It is a constant effort and gets steadily more extreme because no matter how much people put others down, they do not end up feeling any better about themselves. The prejudicial attitudes occur simply because some people have never had exposure to other cultures, other lifestyles, other languages, or anything else outside of their tiny range of experience (Myers & Twenge, 2018). Since they cannot comprehend it, or understand it, the easiest response is to reject it. I also think that prejudice is an unfortunate item of human development. Even though prejudice has existed for many years, I do not think that some people deserve it and people should understand that everyone is different. Through better interaction, we can achieve better relationships and unity in a world without prejudice.

How Prejudice Applies in my Life

Being a Muslim from the Middle East, I have encountered many instances of prejudice in the United States. I have experienced racist comments such as being called a terrorist. One instance happened in a well-known supermarket chain in New York. They had automatic payment counters. For some reason, I was not able to cash out my purchases and was waiting for assistance. There was only one staff and she was busy attending to another white customer. When she was done with him, I signaled to her that I needed assistance. She ignored me and just stood at one corner leaning against the railing. I walked towards her and explained to her my problem. She looked at me and said, “I don’t understand what you are saying.” I was stunned. I pride myself on having a reasonably good command of the English language both written and spoken and was amazed that anyone would question my linguistic ability. Another person came to her for assistance and she left me standing there dumbfounded. I left the place without my purchases. A few hundred meters down the same street, there was a store and I made my purchases there with assistance from a very willing and helpful staff.

I agree with what the author said concerning prejudice and how it manifests itself in society. Prejudice is an almost tribal instinct that comes from within the depths of our reptilian brain. In the early days of human development, it was beneficial for us to bond closely with our group but to see all outside it as a threat. This most basic instinct leads to all of our bigoted woes such as racism, and homophobia. Deep down we probably all have some prejudices but humanity has advanced and most of us have learned how to repress these instincts (Myers & Twenge, 2018). I think prejudices can be reduced if people understand others from different groups. Thus, if people can interact and understand others’ cultural identities, they would not hold prejudicial views. One significant way that will help people understand the identities of different races is through education.





















Myers, D. G. & Twenge, J. (2018). Social Psychology (13th Edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.ISBN-13: 9781260397116


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