Psychotherapy Essay

250 Words1 Page
Prejudice is a baseless and usually negative attitude toward members of a group. Common features of prejudice include negative feelings, stereotyped beliefs, and a tendency to discriminate against members of a group. While specific definitions of prejudice given by social psychologists often differ, most agree that it involves prejudgements (usually negative) about members of a group. Prejudice can be based upon a number of factors including sex, race, age, sexual orientations, nationality socioeconomic status and religion. Some of the well-known types of prejudice include; Racism Sexism Classism Homophobia Nationalism Religious prejudice Ageism When prejudice occurs, stereotyping and discrimination may also result. In many cases, prejudices are based upon stereotypes. A stereotype is a simplified assumption about a group based on prior assumptions. Stereotypes can be both positive (“women are warm and nurturing”) or negative (“teenagers are lazy). Stereotypes can lead to faulty beliefs, but they can also result in both prejudice and discrimination. According to psychologist Gordon Allport, stereotype and prejudice emerge in part as a result of normal human thinking. In order to make sense of the world around us, it is important to sort information into mental categories. “The human mind must think with the aid of categories,” Allport explained. “Once formed, categories are the basis for normal judgement. We cannot possibly avoid this process. Orderly living depends upon it.” This process of categorisation applies to the social world as well, as we sort people into mental groups based on factors such as age, sex, and

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