PSYC 321 Week 8 Discussion


Stereotypes, Prejudice and Discrimination


Chapter 12 discusses stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination.  Although we may claim to be free of all prejudice and stereotypes, social psychology teaches us that we use mental shortcuts (heuristics) in our thinking to save time and mental energy.  A psychologist I knew insisted there was a grain of truth in every stereotype.  For example, if I tell you that Harry is six feet and eleven inches tall and very athletic, you probably assume immediately that he plays basketball!  The chances are that you would be correct!  However, this can easily lead to relying on stereotypes that can be unfair, further leading to prejudice (prejudgment) or even discrimination in a social situation. In this final conference discussion for earned credit I ask you to answer the final specific questions.

1.  Provide an example of a serious prejudice that can lead to eventual discrimination in a social situation.

2.  How might this prejudice be overcome?

Answers please, no later than the final day of the course and be sure to respond in asides to at least two of your classmates.