Prejudice and Aggression

Essay by nkewlA+, February 2006

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We often show signs of discrimination when we categorize people into groups. Describe two ways in which we put people into groups and evaluate the methods in which these prejudice can be reduced.

Prejudice is an unjustifiable and negative attitude towards members of specific social groups. There are many types of prejudice. Racism is having a prejudice towards people from a different race. The most obvious form of racism is the segregation of black, after the American civil war, blacks were considered lower than the white Americans, they had less opportunities because of this discrimination. Another form of prejudice is stereotyping. Stereotyping is an over generalized belief about the personal attributes of a group of people based on their gender, nationality, race, religion, bodily appearance. Though it is a cognitive process to categorize different objects, and generalize to speed up the cognitive retrieval of information, but this leads to unrealistic perceptions and inter-group hostility.

Prejudice always has ingroup and outgroup. Ingroup is when people in a group belong together and share a common identity that everyone in the group can relate to. The outgroup is the group of people that are considered not part of ingroup because of their difference. The 'Us-versus-them-effect' between the ingroup and outgroup causes competition between them. This competition causes discrimination, stereotypes and scapegoating.

To reduce these prejudices, such as racism and stereotyping contacting the members of discriminations will help get rid of the negative feelings and rid of the stereotypes the mind has set. Though this only helps in certain conditions. Mutual goal is when prejudice can be reduced when two groups try to pursue the same goals that need help from both sides, contact with each other are not as effective as helping each other. When each member of the...