Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Margo J. Monteith & Aimee Y. Mark
Prejudice reduction refers to a decrease in (most often) negative attitudes or evaluations that individuals hold in relation to other people. These negative attitudes are based on the groups to which people belong, such as a White person disliking someone because he or she is a Black person. Although social psychologists have linked the idea of prejudice reduction most directly with changing negative attitudes, this term is also used to refer to decreasing stereotypic beliefs (such as the belief that all gay men are promiscuous), outward expressions of bias, or negative behaviors. Prejudice reduction was first studied only when prejudice was seen as a social problem in the United States. Until the 1920s, there was widespread belief among nonscientists and scientists alike in the racial superiority of Whites. Indeed, prejudice was considered perfectly defensible and rationale. Between the 1920s and 1940s, scientists increasingly viewed prejudice as problematic and certain aspects ...