Social Psychology

| December 31, 2015

Each of the posted listed below where in response to the following:
In this Discussion, you evaluate the theories of prejudice and discrimination in society and examine methods for reducing prejudices in an applied setting. Responding to the following, Is prejudice inevitable? Make an informed argument in response to this question, using theories and models of prejudice and discrimination in social psychology. Describe a scenario in which prejudice or discrimination is evident. Suggest one strategy for its reduction in an applied setting, drawing from a theoretical perspective.
Read the two following postings and respond to them individually, using at least four references per response. Adding your own if required.

Respond to each one individually, note: Follow–on responses should be significant contributionto the Discussion.
inthe following ways:
• Suggest an alternative strategy for reduction of prejudice or discrimination in response to a colleague’s scenario.
• Offer a different perspective to a colleague’s argument about the inevitability of prejudice and discrimination.
• If neither of the above cannotbe applied, then Introduce a new scenario in which prejudice or discrimination is evident. Suggest one strategy for its reduction in an applied setting, drawing from a theoretical perspective.
Be sure to support all responses with specific references to all resources used in its preparation.
Response 1 – GK
Although not as prominent as they once were, prejudice and discrimination are still, without a doubt, present in modern society. Both are closely related in definition, yet they should not be confused with the other. Prejudice refers to a preconceived negative judgment of a group and its members, whereas discrimination implies the presence of negative behaviour towards that group (Myers, 2013). For example, a person walks by a school playground late at night and notices a group of young black teens loitering. If he automatically perceives that they are up to no good, it would be considered as prejudice. On the contrary, teasing an Asian kid in school based on his cultural background is discrimination.
Over the past decade, terrorism has been a growing threat on the international stage. From the attacks on 9/11, to the recent bombings in Paris, Muslim extremists have claimed responsibility for countless acts of terror across the globe. Does this mean that all terrorists are Muslim or all Muslims are terrorists? Of course not. But that doesn’t stop people from finding their own ways to retaliate against a perceived threat. In 2014, a local mosque in Alberta, Canada, was heavily vandalized after an attack on the parliament building of Canada (CBC, 2014). In November of 2015, a mosque in Ontario, Canada, was set ablaze two days after the attacks in Paris (CBC, 2015). Four days after the attacks in Paris, a Muslim mother was assaulted, robbed, and was told to “go back to your country” outside a Toronto elementary school while she waited to pick up her children (Global News, 2015). Could these events be a coincidence? Based on such close proximity to the terrorists attacks, I highly doubt the possibility.
Is prejudice inevitable? I believe so because hatred only breeds more hatred. Terrorists attacks are products of their hatred of western society and an extreme difference in beliefs in where extremists aim to rid the world of infidels. The receivers of these terrorist attacks will retaliate and launch an attack on those responsible, feeding the vicious circle of hatred. The belief system that facilitates hatred are focused on ways in which we define our own social identities and those of others (Verkuyten, 2013). In addition, we perceive our culture is the “good” and that we are threatened by malevolent acts of evil. Therefore, we feel a moral necessity to have a fight of good against evil (Verkuyten, 2013). A set of three studies by (Das et al, 2012) also suggested that based on the terror management theory by Greenberg in 1986, the portrayal of terrorism by the media reminds people of their own morality, which leads to heightened discrimination and prejudice. In other words, humanity’s natural tendency to fear death will make them more alert to potential threats as a form of defence.
Reducing prejudice and discrimination is no easy task. I feel that our education system is already doing a great job in making us aware of how dangerous generalization can be. We must continue to be resilient and aware of negative implications present in the media, and hopefully we can catch ourselves in the act when we paint everyone in a group with the same brush.


Das, E., Bushman, B. J., Bezemer, M. D., Kerkhof, P., & Vermeulen, I. E. (2009). How terrorism news reports increase prejudice against outgroups: A terror management account. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(3), 453-459.

Myers, D. G., & Twenge, J. M. (2013). Social psychology (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Nielson, K., Shum, D., & Miller, A. (2015, November 17). Muslim woman attacked in Toronto, told to ‘go back to your country’: Police. Global News.

Peterborough mosque arson is suspected hate crime. (2015, November 15). CBC News Toronto. Retrieved November 29, 2015, from

Town rallies around vandalized Cold Lake Mosque. (2014, October 24). CBC News Edmonton. Retrieved from

Verkuyten, M. (2013).Justifying discrimination against Muslim immigrants: Out‐group ideology and the five‐step social identity model. British Journal Of Social Psychology, 52(2), 345-360. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8309.2011.02081.x
Response 2 – JO’B

Prejudice is ‘a socially shared judgement or evaluation of a group including the feelings associated with that judgement’ (Wright & Taylor, 2007, p.433). Much of the research around prejudice has included areas Additional to this, contextual factors are also important when understanding prejudice (Pettigrew, 1991, Crandall,2002). Given that social groups are sought after by individuals and provide structure to society (Wright & Taylor, 2007) and that prejudice is a social shared judgment and subject to social and contextual factors, it follows that a ‘them’ and ‘us’ group situation will naturally occur. This is a result of categorizing identifying and comparing ourselves with each other (Myers, 2013) and therefore I would argue prejudice is to a certain degree inevitable.
The need to be part of a group can be for many reasons including the need to have an identity. (Myers, 2013). The in-group bias means people are more likely to perceive the group as positive in an attempt to support the positive self-image, this is not always negative, but can become a prejudice situation when there is a feeling of superiority over another group. (Myers, 2013). Overt methods to reduce prejudice such as changes in law can and have been effectively implemented, however Augoustinos & Walker, (1998) identified that at times there is a more ‘subtle’ prejudice at play which is result of conflicting cognitions towards the outgroup( Wright & Taylor, 2007). In short, the person thinks they’re not prejudiced, but rationalises their prejudice with validation. A further example of this might be Gaetner & Dovidio (1986) who cite aversive racism as another example of unconscious prejudice. (Wright & Taylor, 2007).Further evidence to support why prejudice is inevitable.
Describe a scenario in which prejudice or discrimination is evident
To a certain extent all religion promotes prejudice. As a Christian I would really like to visit Mecca. I can only imagine what it must be like to be in the presence of so many people omitting so much positive energy. I understand I cannot visit because of my religion. Yet, now more than ever it can be argued increasing respect for others’ faiths is essential, to be able to do this requires the ability to investigate and understand. On the face of it, it could be argued that this is a clear example of discrimination on the grounds of religion.
Suggest one strategy for its reduction in an applied setting.
The Crossed Categorization technique proposed by Crisp & Hewstone,1999 might be useful in such cases (Paluck, 2009). The membership of ‘the third group’ would mean the ability to add a multi-faith dimension (a shared membership) to alleviate feelings of discrimination. This approach has already been successful in supporting multicultural policies (Brewer & Gaertner, 2001;Wright& Taylor, 2007). By concentrating on what faiths have in common, the idea of an equal status for all and promoting the shared values would help reduce any prejudice. Work at an institution level (schools) instructional level might be effective, this could be carried out by co-operative learning, fostering empathy and perspective. (Lustig, 2003;Paluck, 2009). It would be important to emphasis contextual factors throughout history as similarities which may not be apparent right now may well be apparent throughout time, e.g. going back to my original example, there may have been a point in time when a Christian place of worship was for Christians only.
Crandall, C. S., Eshleman, A., & O’Brien, L. (2002). Social norms and the expression and suppression of prejudice: The struggle for internalisation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(3), 359–378. Accessed from Liverpool University Online
Laureate Online.B.V (2014). Week 6: Stereotyping Prejudice and Discrimination. Social Psychology.Laureate Online.B.V. Accessed from Liverpool University Online
Myers, D. G., & Twenge, J. M. (2013). Social psychology (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw–Hill.
Paluck, E. L., & Green, D.P. (2009). Prejudice reduction: What works? A review and assessment of research and practice. Annual Review of Psychology, 60(1), 339–367. Accessed from Liverpool University Online
Wright, S. C., & Taylor, D. M. (2007). The social psychology of cultural diversity: Social stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. In M. A. Hogg & J. Cooper (Eds.), The Sage handbook of social psychology (pp. 432–457). London, England: Sage.
Understanding Prejudice. (2013). Retrieved from

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