Humanistic Approaches to Positive Growth and Self-Acceptance



No one is born hating a specific racial, religious or ethnic group. People are taught to hate. As children the observation of parents, other adults, and peers greatly influence how we feel about members of certain groups. When our primary source of information comes from inaccurate portrayals such as stereotypes we become more likely to believe certain things as the truth. According to the social identity theory we use  group membership as a source of pride and self worth. We at times magnify the group we belong to so much that we start to feel as though the other groups are inferior, this results in prejudice towards said group.

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 the group. While specific definitions of prejudice given by social scientists often differ, most agree that it involves prejudgments (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.

Prejudice can be based upon a number of factors including sex, race, age, sexual orientations, nationality, socioeconomic status and religion. Some of the most well-known types of prejudice include:
Religious prejudice


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.


Discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race; the practice of treating somebody or a particular group in society less fairly than others

Prejudice: Negative Attitudes about and Treatment of Others

Prejudices are the negative (or positive) evaluation of a particular group and its members.

Although prejudice can be positive (“I love the Irish”), social psychologists have focused on understanding the roots of negative prejudice (“I hate immigrants”).

Two main forms of prejudice:

  • Explicit: Prejudices that people display publicly.
  • Implicit: Prejudices that people keep hidden from the public view

Discrimination: Differential Treatment of Individuals

Acting on negative stereotypes results in discrimination —behavior directed toward individuals on the basis of their membership in a particular group.

  • In-Group: the group a person identifies with
  • Out-Group: groups that are treated with prejudice

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.

Ways to Reduce Prejudice – DIVERSITYdiversity

  • In addition to looking at the reasons why prejudice occurs, researchers have also explored different ways that prejudice can be reduced or even eliminated. Training people to become more empathetic to members of other groups is one method that has shown considerable success. By imaging themselves in the same situation, people are able to think about how they would react and gain a greater understanding of other people’s actions.
  • Other techniques that are used to reduce prejudice include:
  • Passing laws and regulations that require fair and equal treatment for all groups of people.
  • Gaining public support and awareness for anti-prejudice social norms.
  • Making people aware of the inconsistencies in their own beliefs.
  • Increased contact with members of other social groups.


Aronson, E., (2012) The Social Animal(11th ed). New York: Worth Publishers
Myers, D., (2015) Exploring Social Psychology(7th ed). McGraw Hill.

22 thoughts on “Prejudice

  1. Read and somewhat understood.
    Prejudice is all over the world. People can dislike because of your skin color and discrimination can lead to hating and becoming racist to each other.


  2. read and understood. only thing I disagree about hate is taught. it is but I for one, base my opinions of first hand experiences. aside from getting taught, people develop hatred through experiences.


  3. Read and understood. This reminded me of a theorist/philosopher who said that everyone was born with a ‘tabula rasa’ or blank slate and are influenced by the actions of others.


  4. Read and somewhat understood. I agree with the fact that no one is born hating a specific group of people. Human is born with a blank slate, according to John Locke.


  5. Read and somewhat understood. I actually had a class on this a few days ago for ADL where we talked about the basics of Prejudice!


  6. Prejudices are intertwined in American history from slavery to the Irish getting spit on in the 1800s. I feel as though we are shift more towards a class prejudice the haves and the have nots whether it is environment or because of social factors I don’t know how we can eradicate such a mind set


  7. Prejudice is a baseless and usually a negative attitude toward members of a group. Prejudice can have a strong influence on how people behave and interact with others specially with those that are different from them. Common factors that can make someone prejudice include sex, race, age, sexual orientation, nationality, socioeconomic status, and religion. When prejudice occurs, stereotyping and discrimination may also result. When we are prejudice towards others we tend to assume that all in that group are somehow “the same” and fail to really look at that person as a unique individual.


  8. No one deserves to be treated unequal based on the color of skin ,race, sexual orientation and religion . We form prejudice about others who do not share the same religion, race with us or who have different beliefs. Usually prejudice results in stereotyping and discrimination. It is sad till this day that especialy in the U. S. that many people do not believe in diversity and are discriminating against others. Belonging to a certain ethnic groups can have either positive or negative effects on our lives. For example, minorities usually have low wage job, live in the worst neighborhood, and subject to violence. People from minority groups are usually treated unfairly and does not have the same opportunities as other ethnic groups. Discrimination can someetimes lead to unfair treatment and even death. Recently, there has been the case of two African American men being arrested without any criminal acts resulting people protesting. We need to be more open to other people and accept them for who they are as human being and not based on their gender, sexual orientation, and races.


  9. According to the video and the article prejudice discrimination known as a negative feelings and stereotyped beliefs that a person have towards other people. Discrimination can occur base on a person color or their ethnicity. People can also discriminate others through having power over someone else and this is due to their economical status. Minorities are more likely to have low wages than someone who might be native to the country. Furthermore, it’s allows for social classes to take place in society. Social class is classifies people into categories such as higher class or lower class. However, someone who has a prestige is usually gains jobs like doctor but minorities have disadvantages when it comes to be given same opportunities as someone who has prestige.


  10. Just like emotions, humans are not born with the natural behavior of discrimination and prejudice. We observe and learn it since it isn’t an instinctual thing. This is actually linked back to the theme of social cognition. Prejudice usually arises when we attempt to compare ourselves to one another, when we find the urge to fit in or to enhance our self-esteem. The video makes it clear that physical features are usually the root of prejudice, and prejudice is one of the three main elements of categorization. Categorization begins with stereotyping, a cognitive behavior, which then leads to prejudice, an emotional behavior, and lastly, discrimination, which is behavioral. The unfavorable characteristic of society is that these types of categorizations are inevitable. We have generated those attitudes and rules. We determine what is acceptable and not.


  11. In my opinion the way that prejudice and discrimination and made in many ways, that are related to each other. For example, it can be made by race and ethnicity, when it come to the race it is by the skin color that some people start to think in different conclusion and judgments that may not be true, that brings part in the discrimination because many people is going to start decriminalize and the stereotypes come to life in that moment. The ethnicity is part of it like from where they are from and the culture that they are part of it and the religion, and people start to discriminating then because of the religion and culture and skin color that the person has. In addition there are other ways that the prejudice and discrimination will happen, with the power like “political, economic and personal, when i mean by personal is in the social statues part, when a person can have more things then the other and start to show it to the other person or can decriminalize by something that he or she has and the other person do not have.”


  12. In my point of views,
    Prejudice comes from false perspectives or feelings. A person may be prejudiced by sex, race, age, sexual orientations, nationality, socioeconomic status and religion.
    Stereotype often uses to describe subjective patterns of thought of a person or group of people based on gender, political views, social relations, religion, ethnicity, age, appearance, or other personal characteristics, which leads to discrimination. Stereotype may refer to a positive or negative evaluation of a person based on perception, social entanglements, social influences, crowds, propaganda, or misconception.


  13. The article and the video explains tree related subjects: Stereotypes, Prejudice and Racism.
    Stereotypes are oversimplified generalizations about groups of people. Stereotypes can be based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation—almost any characteristic.
    Prejudice refers to the beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and attitudes someone holds about a group. A prejudice is not based on experience; instead, it is a prejudgment, originating outside actual experience.
    Racism is a stronger type of prejudice used to justify the belief that one racial category is somehow superior or inferior to others; it is also a set of practices used by a racial majority to disadvantage a racial minority.


  14. In this video, an argument was being made that prejudice and discrimination are usually associated with the idea of talking about racial groups and ethnic groups. Their physical attributes have a negative social significance. The argument was also made that prejudice and discrimination could be classified with power, social class, and prestige. People with power, tend to assert their dominance over others. Just like people with a higher social class, tend to think they are superior to others who have a lower social class. Or, just like lawyers and doctors, are praised for their jobs while sanitation workers are not. Society has set the rules on what is acceptable and unacceptable and what should be praised and not praised, therefor, letting them make prejudices about others. This week, a video was uploaded onto social media that exemplified actions of discrimination and prejudice over a racial group. 2 men were seated at a Starbucks shop, while waiting for the arrival of their friend. They were later arrested on the claim that they were a threat because they didn’t buy anything. Tension has formed over their recent arrest. Many people argue that it was completely unjust and unlawful to arrest the two men, simply because they were 2 African-American men who posed no real threat.


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