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Cognitive aspects of prejudice

  • Henri Tajfel (a1)
Abstract
Summary

The aim of this paper was to stress the importance of the adaptive cognitive functioning of man in the causation of prejudice. It was felt that this approach has the merits of economy, credibility and testability of explanation which are not always shared by views seeking the psychological causes of intergroup tensions in the evolutionary past of the species or in unconscious motivation. Three cognitive processes were considered from the point of view of their relevance to the genesis of prejudice in an individual: categorization, assimilation, and search for conceptual coherence.

Though the paper was not concerned either with discussing ways to reduce prejudice or with outlining in any detail designs for future research, it is my belief that the general approach adopted here has implications, both for social action and for research, which have not been as yet consistently and fully taken into account.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

R. Holmes (1965) Freud, Piaget and democratic leadership. Br. J. Sociol. 16,123.

J.K. Morland (1966) A comparison of race awareness in Northern and Southern children. Am. J. Orthopsychiat. 36, 22.

T.F. Pettigrew (1958) Personality and sociocultural factors in intergroup attitudes: A crossnational comparison. J. Confl. Resol., 2, 29.

G. Razran (1950) Ethnic dislikes and stereotypes: A laboratory study. J. abnorm. soc. Psychol. 45, 7.

P.F. Secord , W. Bevan & B. Katz (1956) The Negro stereotype and perceptual accentuation. J. abnorm. soc. Psychol. 53, 78.

H. Tajfel (1959a) Quantitative judgment in social perception. Br. J. Psychol. 50, 16.

H. Tajfel (1959b). A note on Lambert's ‘Evaluational reactions to spoken languages’. Can. J. Psychol. 13, 86.

H. Tajfel , A.A. Sheikh & R.C. Gardner (1964) Content of stereotypes and the inference of similarity between members of stereotyped groups. Acta psychol. 22, 191.

H. Tajfel & A.L. Wilkes (1963) Classification and quantitative judgment. Br. J. Psychol. 54, 101.

N. Tinbergen (1968) On war and peace in animals and man. Science, N. Y. 160, 1411.

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Journal of Biosocial Science
  • ISSN: 0021-9320
  • EISSN: 1469-7599
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-biosocial-science
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