Psychological Theories Of Prejudice And Discrimination Essay

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The three psychological theories which are used to explain the causes of prejudice and discrimination will be evaluated and outlined in this essay. Prejudice is a negative feeling directed at members of a group just because they are part of the group. Discrimination can be seen as the behavioural expression of prejudice i.e. the behaviour or negative actions, directed at members of other group, mainly based on their sex, ethnicity, age or social class. The mass murder of Jews by the Nazi’s in the Second World War is an example of prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice comprises of affection, behaviour and cognition of an individual, whereas discrimination only involves the behaviour. Adorno et al. (1950) proposed that individual’s with an authoritarian personality are most likely to be prejudice. Those with an authoritarian personality tend to be hostile to members of minority groups, but respect and submit to authority figures. They categorise people into groups, seeing their own group as superior. They are also rigid in their opinions, beliefs and values. Adorno et al. designed the fascism scale (F-scale) to measure the attitude associated with the authoritarian personality (Woods, 1997). The study revealed that individuals with an upbringing of rigid discipline and conditional affection, scored highly on the…show more content…
They put people into social groups divided into in-group or out-group i.e. us versus them through a process of social categorization. Social identity theory states that group members of an in-group will discriminate and hold prejudiced views against others in the out-group in order to enhance their self-esteem. Social identification is relational and comparative because people define themselves relative to individuals considered to belong to other categories (Tajfel et al
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