In many cases, prejudice stems from the unknown. As individuals, we tend to migrate toward those who may look like us, act like us, and think like us. As a result, it may be difficult for us to open our minds and embrace those whose values, beliefs, and overall sense of self differ from our own.
For this assignment, compose a paper that is three to four pages in length. In your paper, discuss the impacts of prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination in the context of social psychology. Be sure to address the following points:
1. Define and describe the following terms: prejudice, stereotype, discrimination, and ingroup vs. outgroup. Based on your own experiences in the social world, can you relate to any of these terms? Do you identify with a particular term? Why or why not?
2. Examine the social, cognitive, and societal origins of prejudice and stereotypes. Be sure to include specific information regarding categorization, such as ingroup favoritism and the outgroup homogeneity effect, norms, competition for resources, and social inequalities. Of the categories presented, which do you think are the most significant in our society and in your particular community?
3. Analyze the influences that promote stereotyping, and offer strategies to reduce prejudice. What are the consequences of stereotyping and discrimination? Who does this behavior hurt, and in what ways does it hurt them? Are we inadvertently creating self-fulfilling prophecies in our society? If so, how can we take steps to improve attitudes, judgments, and behaviors?