prejudice, unsubstantiated prejudgment of an individual or group, favorable or unfavorable in character, tending to action in a consonant direction. The hostility that prejudice can engender and the discrimination to which it may lead on the part of a dominant population toward an ethnic group, gender, religious or linguistic minority have caused great human suffering throughout history. Some researchers attribute prejudice to deep-rooted "fear of the stranger," while others cite religious or nationalist chauvinism, and fear of economic competition. Most, however, agree that prejudice is learned and can be reduced when members of different communities work together toward the realization of a common goal or when groups intermarry. Since prejudice and discrimination each contribute to the origin and growth of the other, prejudice can be reduced by removing discrimination, and a change in discriminatory institutions usually leads to a change in attitudes.

See G. Allport, the Nature of Prejudice (1979); R. Williams, Mutual Accommodation (1979); T. Pettigrew, Sociology of Race Relations (1980).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Prejudice: Selected full-text books and articles

Prejudice: Its Social Psychology By Rupert Brown Wiley-Blackwell, 2010 (2nd edition)
Hatred, Bigotry, and Prejudice: Definitions, Causes & Solutions By Robert M. Baird; Stuart E. Rosenbaum Prometheus Books, 1999
Race and Ethnicity: The Basics By Peter Kivisto; Paul R. Croll Routledge, 2012
Peer Prejudice and Discrimination: The Origins of Prejudice By Harold D. Fishbein Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002 (2nd edition)
Weight Bias: Nature, Consequences, and Remedies By Kelly D. Brownell; Rebecca M. Puhl; Marlene B. Schwartz; Leslie Rudd Guilford Press, 2005
Racial Prejudice in College Students: A Cross-Sectional Examination By Gassner, Breanna; McGuigan, William College Student Journal, Vol. 48, No. 2, June 2014
The Interplay between Prejudice against Latinos and Policy: A Social Psychological Perspective By Trujillo, Matthew D Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, Vol. 24, Annual 2012
Effects of Target Person Expression on Ethnic Prejudice toward Middle Easterners and Hispanics By Sullivan, Tia N.; Scott, David A.; Nocks, Elaine C Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, Vol. 39, No. 3, July 2011
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Reducing Prejudice and Discrimination By Stuart Oskamp Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.