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Prejudice

Definition

Prejudice is defined as an attitude toward people based on their membership in a group (e.g., their racial group, gender, nationality, even the college they attend). Critical to prejudice is an inflexibility in the reaction to the target person whereby the responses to the target are not based on the target's behaviors or characteristics (good or bad) but instead are based on the target's membership in a group. Prejudice is most often negative, although it is also possible to be positively prejudiced. Prejudice involves three key components: an emotional response to members of the group; beliefs about the abilities, behaviors, and characteristics of group members; and behaviors directed at group members. For example, imagine that a person was negatively prejudiced against people from country X. ...

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