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Prejudice is a prejudgment based on inadequate knowledge. For instance, a person meeting a female child for the first time might assume she likes princesses or the color pink. A person doesn’t have to realize they’re being prejudiced to prejudge others.
They may believe that their female patients are faking or exaggerating their pain, or that they are reacting with excessive emotion to relatively minor pain. A doctor’s prejudicial belief that women are too “emotional,” that they handle pain poorly, or that they exaggerate their own pain can change the way the doctor sees that patient.
The doctor might be reluctant to treat the patient or provide appropriate pain management.
So it’s unsurprising that racist prejudices against people of color are far more prevalent than prejudice against whites.
Responses to the 2008 General Social Survey, for instance, found that people are less likely to say black people are intelligent than they are to say white people are intelligent. People who spend more time with people who are different from them are less likely to hold prejudicial attitudes.
Research published in 2017, for instance, found that multicultural experiences could reduce cross-cultural prejudice.
Prejudice is an attitude that can trigger abusive actions.Many groups have faced discrimination and oppression that stemmed from prejudicial beliefs.Some types of prejudice include: Prejudice does not necessarily cause discrimination, but is almost always a factor.Social norms and cultural contexts play a significant role in the types of prejudice a person is likely to hold.Racism has figured prominently in American life for centuries.A person’s prejudices might not even be internally consistent.For instance, a person might believe both that men are inherently unemotional and prone to emotional angry outbursts.In mental health and other health care settings, prejudice can undermine client care—even if the provider is unaware of their own prejudice.For example, research consistently shows that doctors are less likely to take women’s pain seriously.A prejudicial belief that seniors are slow, sick, or uninterested in learning new things can lead to discrimination.For example, a person charged with hiring at a company that prizes innovation may refuse to hire older workers.