Remember it, Test it!

Remember it, Test it!


  • Stereotyping: Making a snap judgement about someone based on what they do or what they look like.
  • Prejudice: Holding unfairly negative attitudes towards someone based on their cultural, social or religious background.
  • Discrimination: Treating someone differently because of the group to which they belong.



  • Simplify the reality
  • Help us to make quick judgements
  • Can promote harmful images e.g. create a false idea of the ‘ideal’ man or woman
  • Are emphasised by role models
  • Are applied by parents right from the outset of a child’s birth
  • Are ingrained from childhood and difficult to shift


  • Is evident in the workplace because UK employers tend to invite more white British people for interviews.
  • Is against the law in the workplace.
  • Can be caused by competition between groups for limited resources (e.g. Robber’s Cave experiment)
  • Is more likely to be shown to out-group members


  • Is more likely to be held by those with authoritarian personalities (Adorno)
  • Is more likely to be held by those in competition for limited resources (Sherif)
  • Is less likely to be shown towards in-group members (those with much in common)


Adorno (1950) & Authoritarian Personalities

  • Found a relationship between authoritarian personalities and prejudice
  • Developed the F-scale (measure of authoritarian personality)
  • Found that this could explain the behaviour of Germans during the 2nd World War.
  • Can be criticised because the study was not cross-cultural and doesn’t show cause and effect.

Therefore, Authoritarian Personalities (According to Adorno):

  • Believe in tradition
  • Tend not to alter their beliefs
  • Look down on people they think are below them
  • Respect authority
  • Don’t like Jews


Test It!

  1. What is a stereotype? Give a positive and negative example of each.
  2. Describe one advantage and one disadvantages of stereotyping?
  3. What is the difference between prejudice and discrimination? Give an example of each.
  4. What is the F-scale?
  5. What relationship did Adorno believe there to be between authoritarian personalities and obedience to authority figures? What criticisms might you make of Adorno’s 1950 study?
  6. What were the findings of Sherif’s 1961 Robbers Cave experiment? What are some of the practical implications of these?
  7. What methods have been found to be successful in reducing prejudice and discrimination? Give specific examples where possible.