Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination
eBook - ePub

Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination

Mary E. Kite, Bernard E. Whitley, Jr., Lisa S. Wagner

Share book
714 pages
ePUB (mobile friendly)
Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination

Mary E. Kite, Bernard E. Whitley, Jr., Lisa S. Wagner

Book details
Book preview
Table of contents

About This Book

Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination provides a comprehensive and compelling overview of what psychological theory and research have to say about the nature, causes, and reduction of prejudice and discrimination. It balances a detailed discussion of theories and selected research with applied examples that ensure the material is relevant to students.

This edition has been thoroughly revised and updated and addresses several interlocking themes. It first looks at the nature of prejudice and discrimination, followed by a discussion of research methods. Next come the psychological underpinnings of prejudice: the nature of stereotypes, the conditions under which stereotypes influence responses to other people, contemporary theories of prejudice, and how individuals' values and belief systems are related to prejudice. Explored next are the development of prejudice in children and the social context of prejudice. The theme of discrimination is developed via discussions of the nature of discrimination, the experience of discrimination, and specific forms of discrimination, including gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, and appearance. The concluding theme is the reduction of prejudice.

The book is accompanied by a comprehensive website featuring an Instructor Manual that contains activities and tools to help with teaching a prejudice and discrimination course; PowerPoint slides for every chapter; and a Test Bank with short answer and multiple-choice exam questions for every chapter.

This book is an essential companion for all students of prejudice and discrimination, including those in psychology, education, social work, business, communication studies, ethnic studies, and other disciplines. In addition to courses on prejudice and discrimination, this book will also appeal to those studying racism and diversity.

Frequently asked questions
How do I cancel my subscription?
Simply head over to the account section in settings and click on “Cancel Subscription” - it’s as simple as that. After you cancel, your membership will stay active for the remainder of the time you’ve paid for. Learn more here.
Can/how do I download books?
At the moment all of our mobile-responsive ePub books are available to download via the app. Most of our PDFs are also available to download and we're working on making the final remaining ones downloadable now. Learn more here.
What is the difference between the pricing plans?
Both plans give you full access to the library and all of Perlego’s features. The only differences are the price and subscription period: With the annual plan you’ll save around 30% compared to 12 months on the monthly plan.
What is Perlego?
We are an online textbook subscription service, where you can get access to an entire online library for less than the price of a single book per month. With over 1 million books across 1000+ topics, we’ve got you covered! Learn more here.
Do you support text-to-speech?
Look out for the read-aloud symbol on your next book to see if you can listen to it. The read-aloud tool reads text aloud for you, highlighting the text as it is being read. You can pause it, speed it up and slow it down. Learn more here.
Is Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination an online PDF/ePUB?
Yes, you can access Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination by Mary E. Kite, Bernard E. Whitley, Jr., Lisa S. Wagner in PDF and/or ePUB format, as well as other popular books in Psychology & History & Theory in Psychology. We have over one million books available in our catalogue for you to explore.



Chapter 1 Introducing the Concepts of Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
—Martin Luther King Jr. (August 28, 1963)
Chapter Outline
  • Race and Human Culture
  • Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination
  • The Relationships among Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination
  • Theories of Prejudice and Discrimination
  • Where Do We Go from Here?
  • Summary
  • Suggested Readings
  • Key Terms
  • References
Looking back over the nearly 60 years since Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his classic “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, it is easy to see the extent to which race relations have improved in the United States. The Jim Crow laws that limited the rights of racial and ethnic minority groups have been dismantled, and overt racial segregation, such as in restaurants and on public transportation, is a thing of the past. Today it is difficult to believe there was a time when White mobs lynched Black people without serious repercussions. Yet, even today, vivid examples demonstrate that Martin Luther King’s dream has not been fully realized.
Evidence of how racial tensions persist in the United States is illustrated by what came to be called the “Jena 6” case. The case began with a question asked at a school assembly at Jena High School in Louisiana: Could Black students sit under an oak tree then known as the “white tree” (Coll, 2007)? The principal said yes but, showing stark disagreement, White students hung nooses (a symbol of lynching and hate against Black people) from the tree’s branches. To them, the tree was, indeed, off limits to Black students. The school board deemed hanging nooses “a prank” and suspended the White students from school; no criminal charges were brought. Months of high emotions led to a series of fights between Black and White students. At least one incident led to battery charges against a White youth who beat a Black youth at a party; the White student received probation. The violence culminated with six Black students assaulting a White student to the point of his being knocked unconscious (Witt, 2007). Within hours, all six Black students were charged with attempted murder—a felony. In Box 1.1, we describe how public response to this outcome and to other instances of racial inequities has led to national and international protest movements.
Box 1.1 Responding to Racial Injustice: Black Lives Matter
On May 4, 1970, four students engaged in a nonviolent protest against the war in Vietnam were killed by National Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio. Ten days later, police killed 2 students and wounded 12 others on another college campus. The first event is well known, as is the iconic photograph of a woman leaning over the body of a fellow student moments after he had been shot. The second event, which occurred on the campus of Jackson State University, received far less media coverage and far fewer people today know about it. Why? Was it because Jackson State was and is a predominantly Black university, whereas Kent State was and is predominantly White (Banks, 2015)? If so, would things be different if these events occurred today?
Recent social movements suggest that the answer is yes. For example, following the charges against the “Jena 6” Black students, thousands of people participated in protests across the United States to express their outrage over this inequity in the administration of justice and these events received a great deal of media attention (Duster, 2007). Prominent columnists, such as Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald, have also drawn attention to contemporary racial disparities in law enforcement. For example, discussing more recent deaths of young Black men at the hands of the police, Pitts (2015) noted that
It has reached a point where you can’t keep the atrocities straight without a score card. Besides [Freddie] Gray [a 25-year-old African American man who suffered fatal injuries while in police custody], we’ve got Eric Harris, an unarmed black man shot in Tulsa, who cried that he was losing his breath … We’ve got Oscar Grant [fatally shot by police on the San Francisco Bay Area Transit System] … Eric Garner [who died from a chokehold administered by four New York City police officers]. We’ve got video of a black man named Walter Scott, wanted for a traffic violation and back child support, running from a police officer and being shot to death. We’ve got video of a white man named Michael Wilcox, wanted for murder, running toward a police officer, threatening him, daring him to shoot, refusing to remove his hands from his pockets, yet somehow not being shot.
(para 12–14)
These events and others, including the August 9, 2014, shooting of Michael Brown, an African American man, by a White police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, led to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, which addresses what its organizers see as police brutality against African Americans in the United States. Journalist Jay Kang (2015) calls it “the most formidable American protest movement of the 21st century to date,” stating that the movement marries
the strengths of social media—the swift, morally blunt consensus that can be created by hashtags; the personal connection that a charismatic online persona can make with followers; the broad networks that allow for the easy distribution of documentary photos and videos—with an effort to quickly mobilize protests in each new city where a police shooting occurs.
(para 7)
The BLM movement gained unforeseen global strength following the May 25, 2020, police killing of unarmed George Floyd as he lay handcuffed on the ground while Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer, knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 45 seconds. For thousands of protestors in the United States and internationally, Floyd’s death became a symbol for the numerous Black victims who came before him. Often, the focus is on the men who died while in police custody; however, the #saytheirnames movement (The African American Policy Forum, n.d.) is working to ensure that women such as Sandra Bland, who died in March of 2015 following a routine traffic stop in Hempstead, Texas, and Breonna Taylor, who was shot in her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment in March of 2020, are also recognized.
The efforts of activists have led many to recognize—perhaps for the first time—how racially biased policing affects citizens of color in their respective countries (Brown, 2020). The need is great: Although Derek Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, the shootings have not ceased. The BLM movement has ignited an international conversation about these issues, and this conversation has been and will continue to be informed by social science research on the oppression of ethnic minorities in the criminal justice system.
Researchers have uncovered clear evidence of racial disparities in law enforcement for people of color in general and for Black people in particular (LeCount, 2017). Thus, in addition to being overrepresented in the number of fatal police shootings, Black people (who comprise 13 percent of the U.S. population) are arrested for 38 percent of violent crimes and 35 percent of drug violations (Newman, 2007). Disparities also emerged in the stop and frisk program that was in place in New York City between 2006 and 2012; this initiative allowed the police to briefly detain, question, and search individuals without clear probable cause. The racial inequities are striking: During the time the program operated, many more Black males (78 percent) were stopped compared to White males (14 percent), Black women (5.8 percent), or White women (1.6 percent; Hester et al., 2020).
Evidence also shows that “driving while black” results in a disproportionate number of traffic stops, many for minor violations such as a burned out taillight. For example, a comprehensive analysis of nearly 100 million traffic stops across the United States showed that Black drivers were 20 percent more likely to be pulled over than White drivers relative to their numbers in the population and, once stopped, were about twice as likely to have their car searched. These inequities occurred even though Black drivers were less likely to have drugs or other contraband than White drivers (Pierson et al., 2020). Similarly, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that Black drivers were more likely to be pulled over than White or Hispanic drivers but that, once stopped, both Black and Hispanic drivers were more likely to be searched or frisked by the police than White drivers (Langton & Durose, 2013). Racial disparities are also evident in the way police officers speak to drivers. For example, Nicholas Camp and colleagues (2021) edited recordings from police officers’ body-worn cameras. The actual words spoken were obscured so that only the police officer’s tone, rhythm, and quality of voice were discernable. These clips were then rated by college students and members of the general public; results showed the officers speaking to Black drivers were rated as less friendly, more tense, and less respectful than officers speaking to White drivers.
These disparities undoubtedly influence how African Americans perceive their interactions with law enforcement. For example, when asked about their general experiences with police, African Americans reported greater feelings of threat than did White Americans and when asked to imagine they were in a specific situation where a police officer was watching them, Black men were more likely than White men to anticipate being anxious and to expect that the officer would accuse them of wrongdoing (Najdowski et al., 2015). However, as Phillip Goff and Kimberly Kahn (2012) note, answering the question of whether these disparities stem solely from police discrimination is difficult given the available data. That is, although racial disparities in the criminal justice system may be due to police officer bias, they may also emerge because other social factors disproportionately affect people from ethnic minority groups, such as high unemployment rates and a lack of affordable housing. People who experience these inequities may see criminal activity as the only way to get the money they need for food and shelter, resulting in legitimate arrests. Hence, “it would be naïve to imagine that officers and departmental policies play no role in the creation of racial disparities [but these inequities may also be] a symptom of racial discrimination in other domains” (Goff & Kahn, 2012, p. 184). The good news is research is under way that attempts to distinguish between these two possibilities.
As we will discuss in Chapters 3 and 4, there is strong evidence that cultural stereotypes, including beliefs linking Black people to criminality, result in both conscious and unconscious bias against Black men (Eberhard...

Table of contents

Citation styles for Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination
APA 6 Citation
Kite, M., Whitley, B., & Wagner, L. (2022). Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination (4th ed.). Taylor and Francis. Retrieved from (Original work published 2022)
Chicago Citation
Kite, Mary, Bernard Whitley, and Lisa Wagner. (2022) 2022. Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination. 4th ed. Taylor and Francis.
Harvard Citation
Kite, M. et al. (2022) Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination. 4th edn. Taylor and Francis. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Kite, Mary et al. Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination. 4th ed. Taylor and Francis, 2022. Web. 15 Oct. 2022.