Standard Article


  1. Gretchen B. Sechrist

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0277

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Sechrist, G. B. 2010. Discrimination. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Discrimination is negative behavior directed at individuals or at groups of individuals because of their social group membership. Discrimination is based on social categories to which individuals do not generally choose to belong. Such social categories include gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, stigma, age, and physical appearance. Although it is normal to favor people who are similar to us (e.g., young children frequently play within gender groups and people date and marry primarily within their own race), discrimination involves unfair, unwarranted, and unjustifiable treatment of others.


  • prejudice;
  • stereotypig;
  • racism;
  • sexism;
  • person perception