prejudice and discrimination

  • Define prejudice
  • define discrimination
  • explain prejudice and discrimination
  • describe and evaluate Adorno et al key study
  • describe and evaluate Tajfel (1970) key study
  • Created by: electra
  • Created on: 13-04-11 17:41

definition of prejudice and discrimination

Prejudice: an attitude, which is usually negative towards a particular group of people, based upon the characteristics which are assumed to be the same for all members of the group

Discrimination:  treating people unfavourably on the basis of the membership of a particular group.

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explain prejudice and discrimination

There is one basic difference between prejudice and discrimination.
Prejudice is the negative attitude and discrimination the resultant behaviour.

This means that a person could be prejudiced toward another person or a person from a particular group but might not discriminate against them.
The most famous example of prejudice and discrimination put together is the WWII where Hitler was both discriminating and prejudicing Jews.

SO: Prejudice is just a NEGATIVE attitude towards people or a particular group of people (but sometimes is also positive although psychologyst have been far more concerned with its negative aspect because it cause damaging effect to the society in general) and Discrimination is the resultant behaviour leading in the negative treatment of people of an outer group because of their membership.

Can you think of ways in which Hitler might have discriminated and prejudiced the Jews??

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Adorno et al Key study (1950)

AIM: show that people may be prejudiced towards other people because of their personality type
METHOD: Adorno and his colleagues interviewed hundreds of fomers Nazi soldiers. They then developed a personality scale as part of the research known as the F-scale (f stands for fascist)  which they used to measure the response to weightened questions
RESULTS: they found patterns of personality characteristics that they called the authoritarian personality. Those with an authoritarian personality tended to be:  

  • fairly rigid in their opinion
  • not willing to accept new ideas or new situations
  • hostile to people of an inferior status but obedient to those of higher status

CONCLUSION: Adorno et al found that those with an authoritarian personality readily categorise people into 'us' group and 'them' group treating their own group as superior and other group in a negative way.

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evaluation of the study

it fails to explain why we are prejudiced

it seems unable to apply to the child-rearing style as not all of those who show the authoritarian personality have had strict students

the study has just one corealltion between the child-rearing style and the authoritarian personality study

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Tajfel (1970) key study

AIM: show that we easily discriminate against people of an outer group

METHOD: 14-15 year-olds boys were assigned to two group, each boy was given a game to play with, he then had to award pairs of points, points could then be swapped with prizes.

RESULTS: boys chose the points which have the biggest difference between the groups instead of the points which will award them with the most points.

CONCLUSION: people will discriminate against other because part of an outer group.

EVALUATION OF STUDY: he used just boys aged 14-15 so results cannot be generalised to girls. Also the groups are artificial so they don't mean anything to us and in real life they do mean something to us.

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Please can you finish these cards, and in future if they are unfinished please don'tmake them public.


Ele - moderator



thank you for noticing tht I didn't finish them :/ I was sure that I finished them and one space is blank, my mistake, sorry :)

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