Members in the Media
From: CNN

Why are people prejudiced? The answer is not what you think

People are prejudiced — sometimes unashamedly so. We tend to have a host of reasons ready to justify our biases — the mentally ill are dangerous, immigrants steal jobs, the LGBTQ community corrupts family values, Muslims are terrorists and rural whites are uneducated.

But these prejudices are largely unfounded and the justifications don’t hold water, so what is driving them in the first place? In the December Nature: Human Behavior, we — with colleagues Julia Marshall and Yimeng Wang — report a basic root of social prejudice: People’s dislike of broken patterns.

Our starting premise was that society feels prejudice toward people who deviate from the norm, those who break physical or social patterns. In their skin color or dress, they break the pattern of what looks “normal.” In their religious or cultural practices, they deviate from long-established social norms, which are consensually agreed-upon patterns of social behavior.

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