The Origins Of Prejudice And Discrimination

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Throughout history, prejudice and discrimination have always been a major threat faced by humanity (Hogg & Vaughan, 2011). With the recent terror attacks in Belgium and Paris, prejudice attitudes are once again returning to the forefront of the media, with increased negativity being directed towards the Muslim faith (Walters, 2015). Understanding the causes of prejudice have provided great challenges to social psychologists across the decades (Hogg & Vaughan, 2011). The discussion presented below will take a comparative and evaluative approach of the origins of prejudice. Beginning by defining the term ‘Prejudice’, followed by discussing a possible prejudiced personality type and concluding with a contrasting approach based on intergroup processes, focusing specifically on competition over limited resources.…show more content…
The term ‘Prejudice’ is predominantly a negative attitude directly referring to the prejudgement of another, usually based solely on group membership (Hogg & Vaughan, 2011). It is important to highlight that there is a difference between prejudice and discrimination, one may hold prejudiced views, but not act upon them (Aronson, Wilson & Akert, 2013). Therefore it is possible that someone can be prejudiced towards a particular group but not discriminate against them (Brehm & Kassin, 1995). Discrimination on the other hand, is defined as an unjust negative action towards an individual solely based on their membership to a group (Baron & Branscombe, 2014). This brings the discussion onto the cause of prejudice and the approaches which attempt to offer an explanation for
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