Standard Article

Prejudice, Racism, and Discrimination

Part Three. Social Psychology

  1. Kenneth L. Dion PhD

Published Online: 15 APR 2003

DOI: 10.1002/0471264385.wei0521

Handbook of Psychology

Handbook of Psychology

How to Cite

Dion, K. L. 2003. Prejudice, Racism, and Discrimination. Handbook of Psychology. Three:21:507–536.

Author Information

  1. University of Toronto, Department of Psychology, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2003


This chapter organizes the psychology of prejudice, racism, and discrimination under two main rubrics: (1) the psychology of the bigot, which seeks to understand why some people are prejudiced and discriminatory toward certain groups and their members and (2) the psychology of the victim of prejudice and discrimination, which focuses on the psychological correlates and consequences of perceiving oneself to be an object or target of prejudice and/or discrimination. Under the first rubric, classic and contemorary theories of prejudice are considered, including theories of the authoritarian personality, just world theory, belief congruence theory, ambivalence approaches (e.g., aversive racism, symbolic and modern racism, ambivalence amplification, ambivalent sexism, and blatant vs. subtle prejudice), automatic and controlled processing (e.g., the dissociation model and critiques of this model), and integrative approaches (social dominance theory, integrated threat theory, and the multicomponent approach to intergroup attitudes). Under the second rubric, the topics include attributional ambiguity perspectives, the personal-group discrimination discrepancy, perceived prejudice and discrimination as stressors, stereotype threat, and relative deprivation and perceived discrimination as predictors of victims' desires to take protective action.


  • attributional ambiguity;
  • discrimination;
  • discrimination-related stress;
  • intergroup attitudes;
  • prejudice;
  • racism;
  • stereotype threat