Members in the Media
From: Science 2.0

Prejudice Is A Basic Human Need

Science 2.0:

Prejudice is just bigotry that arises from flawed ideology, right? Not so, say the authors of a new paper.

They contend prejudice stems from a deeper psychological need and it is associated with a particular way of thinking. People who aren’t comfortable with ambiguity and want to make quick and firm decisions are also prone to making generalizations about others. People who are prejudiced feel a much stronger need to make quick and firm judgments and decisions in order to reduce ambiguity.

And, they argue, it’s virtually impossible to change this basic way that people think.

“Of course, everyone has to make decisions, but some people really hate uncertainty and therefore quickly rely on the most obvious information, often the first information they come across, to reduce it” says co-author Arne Roets of Ghent University in Belgium. That’s also why they favor authorities and social norms which make it easier to make decisions. Then, once they’ve made up their mind, they stick to it. “If you provide information that contradicts their decision, they just ignore it.”

Read the whole story: Science 2.0

More of our Members in the Media >


APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Comments will be moderated. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.