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Children: Stereotypes and Prejudice

Prejudice, the holding of negative attitudes toward others based on the groups to which they belong and the stereotypes attached to these groups, continues to be a major source of strife and conflict throughout the world. Do children show prejudice and have stereotypes? If so, how do stereotypes and prejudice arise in early life? What are the different ways that prejudice and stereotypes emerge in childhood, and what forms can they take? These are the questions that are addressed in this entry.

People commonly think that young children are innocent and devoid of stereotypes and prejudice. However, research in developmental and social psychology has shown that children exhibit many types of biases at an early age. These can be based, for example, on someone's gender, race, ...

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