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Prejudice and Discrimination

  1. Florence L. Denmark

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0700

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Denmark, F. L. 2010. Prejudice and Discrimination. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Pace University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Although often employed interchangeably and certainly related by laypersons and the media, the terms prejudice and discrimination possess distinct meanings for most social scientists. Prejudice denotes the possession of negative attitudes of a particular kind regarding members of a specific group or category. As commonly used in psychology, prejudice is not merely a statement of opinion or belief, but an attitude that includes feelings such as contempt, dislike, or loathing. Discrimination is a term applied to the negative actions that result from prejudicial attitudes and that are directed against the targets or victims of prejudice. Someone who is prejudiced may, in certain situations, practice discrimination. Prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination often go hand-in-hand, but it is also possible to have one without the others.


  • attitudes;
  • bias;
  • discrimination;
  • prejudice;
  • racism