Factors Reducing Prejudice

Topics: Stereotype, Muzafer Sherif, Prejudice Pages: 2 (564 words) Published: March 8, 2006
Outcome 3 – Factors that may reduce prejudice

Prejudice means holding (usually) a negative attitude towards the members of a group based solely on their membership of that group. Two examples of prejudice behavior are: -Having a negative attitude towards somebody just because they drive a truck. -Having a negative attitude towards the elderly.

A stereotype is a belief about people who belong to a certain group, regardless of individual differences among members of that group. Stereotypes provide us with a general system which guides our interactions with others.

La Pierre conducted an experiment on the relationships between attitudes and behavior. He was interested in finding out whether there was a consistency between a person's attitude towards others with racial backgrounds and their behavior towards such people, as demonstrated by discrimination. Over a tow year period, La Pierre traveled 16000 km around the United States with a Chinese couple. They stayed in 66 hotels, motels and caravan parks and dined in 184 different restaurants. A possible hypothesis was that the Chinese couple would not be given entry into a hotel, motel, caravan park or restaurant due to their racial background. La Pierre and the Chinese couple were only refused service on one occasion and he judged their treatment overall to be good in the nearly 50 percent of the places they visited. La Pierre concluded that attitudes do not reliably predict behavior.

Three factors that might reduce prejudice behavior are intergroup contact, cognitive interventions and superordinate goals. Intergroup contact – Prejudice can be reduced by increasing direct contact between two groups who are prejudiced against each other. Cognitive interventions – If people are aware of the harmful effects of prejudice, they are then in a position to do something about it. This involves changing the way in which someone thinks about prejudice. When used to reduce prejudice, a specific cognitive...

References: Grivas, J, & Carter, l, (2005). Psychology for the VCE student. (4th Ed) Milton, Qld: John Wiley & Sons. 101-03
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