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WHAT HAVE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGISTS CONTRIBUTED TO ATTEMPTS TO REDUCE PREJUDICE?

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Introduction

WHAT HAVE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGISTS CONTRIBUTED TO ATTEMPTS TO REDUCE PREJUDICE? Prejudice can be defined as ' a negative judgement of a group and its individual members'. (Myers 2002) In addition to prejudice, there is stereotyping. Some psychologists say that these two words are interlinked. You cannot explain prejudice without explaining stereotyping and vice versa. A stereotype is 'a belief about the personal attributes pf a group of people, sometimes over generalised, inaccurate, and often resistant to new information.' (Myers 2002) There are many reasons why people from prejudices. One might say that it's down to human nature and Darwinism. Others might say it's because of past unpleasant experiences or just a part of society that will not fade away. There are three sources of prejudice; social, emotional and cognitive. ...read more.

Middle

People were feeling frustrated by the poverty surrounding them and in turn took out their frustrations on those around them. This resulted in an increase of lynching. This is also named the scapegoat theory. When they cannot find an answer to their problems people will find another way to deal with it. Another emotional source of prejudice that is not very common involves a person being attacked by another person of a different race. The victim may form a prejudice against that person. The realistic group conflict theory states that prejudice arises as a result of competition between two groups for resources. Cognitive sources of prejudice include categorisation. This is the theory that people place others in categories resulting in the formation of stereotypes. The Fundamental Attribution Theory is another cognitive source of prejudice. ...read more.

Conclusion

However this does not necessarily mean that you should categorise them. Another way of reducing prejudice is attacking the legal system. 'Eliminating or reducing such inequities has a number of important effects such as helping group boundaries less salient and lessening negative stereotyping and victim-blaming tendencies.' (Duckitt, 1994) This has also shown to be effective when Social psychologists assisted in law making after the American civil war. By protecting target groups, prejudice has reduced significantly. (Katz 1989) Social psychologists have also put forward the theory to change an individual's attitude through counselling sessions. (Bageley, 1979). However, this has been met with much hostility, as people do not wish to air their prejudices with those they do not know. In addition, by changing one persons attitude does not necessarily mean that its whole ingroup will change. Unfortunately, some of theses changes have been met with hostility and unsupported. In addition, some of the change are very difficult and may seem beyond the abilities of the social psychologists. ...read more.

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