Prejudice Psychology essay

Submitted By Akira-Dawkins
Words: 1165
Pages: 5

Prejudice Paper
Whether people are willing to admit it or not, everybody expresses some kind of prejudice. A common prejudice that is shared among many Americans and people all around the world is that being overweight is gross and easy to make fun of. This is often depicted in many cartoons, reality tv shows, ads, movies, etc. The list goes on. Many problems sprout from this way of thinking and the way we perceive things, and they often do. Things like discrimination and racism are great examples of what can happen when a prejudice is taken too far. Prejudice is an unjustifiable, usually negative, attitude toward a group and its members. A mixture of beliefs or stereotypes, emotions and predispositions to action. What people fail to realize though, is the difference between prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination and how they all relate to one another. Prejudice and stereotypes are what lead to discrimination, which is the action, the unfair treatment of someone based on their culture, ethnicity or gender. Stereotypes are a generalized belief about a group of people and prejudice is the prejudgment or attitude towards that group. It would be nice to think that being prejudice has almost completely disappeared at this day in age, but we couldn’t be more wrong. It’s just been easier to hide. Incidents like the murdering of Michael Brown due to police brutality and racism or the suicide of the trans man Blake Brockington due to unfair treatment and strong prejudice against transsexuals. To go on, the prejudice against transsexuals is so strong and ridiculous it is 100% legal to kill a transsexual in forty nine states in the U.S. FORTY NINE. It’s called the “trans panic defense”. This is just one of the shocking facts that prejudice is still very much alive in the twenty first century. While there is never an exact reason for prejudice, there are two general explanations of it and they are the social and cognitive roots of prejudice. The social roots for prejudice include social inequalities, the us and them, and emotions. Social Inequalities are created by the different levels of social status in society being separated by either power or money or race or gender identity. There are certain people who feel inferior or jealous due to them being of a lower social status and the upper class doesn’t help, because they usually develop attitudes that justify things as they are. My example of the rich being portrayed as spoiled individual shows how a lower class can see the upper class. The blame-the-victim dynamic was a result of prejudice. This occurs when people blame others for the problems they face and think that it is the other person’s fault. The us and them or the ingroup and outgroup is responsible for a lot of tension among different groups of people. An ingoup consists of the people who we share a common identity with and the outgroup is those perceived as different or apart from our own group. We like to associate ourselves with people who have similar views, think the same, feel the same way about a specific idea or come from the same culture or background. For example, people who like the same type of music will usually conform so they can discuss and share their liking toward that particular thing. These things separate people into the two groups, us and them. There is usually an intense dislike for the other group that people don’t associate themselves with and because of this dislike people form generalized opinions about that group. From there prejudice is just a stone throw away. Group identification also leads to ingroup bias, the tendency to favor one’s own group. Sports is a great example of ingroup and outgroup. Each team has its own unique colors or symbol that represent them and all of their fans have that same symbol. If someone on that team were to do something that you felt was wrong in the game then you would probably feel that the other people wearing this symbol were wrong to and judge them for