refers to the unjust treatment of people based onstereotypical assumptions. In many instances, it occurs as themanifestation of behaviors and actions motivated by negative feelingsand emotions (Thörnqvist & Bernhardsson, 2015). Prejudice is asocial problem since it causes some people to receive worse treatmentthan others due to circumstances beyond the victim’s control. Inextreme cases, it may lead people to inflict physical harm on others.There are several types of bigotry depending on factors such as age,gender, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs. Other types ofinequity include race or ethnicity, nationality, language, region,social status, and disability (Rubin et al., 2004). Therefore, aperson may experience prejudice due to any of the above factors. Biasis pervasive in that it may occur in a broad range of settings. Someof the most common places where inequity occurs include theworkplace, school, and at home.
is an inevitable fact of life since each individual isgrouped into a particular gender, social class, religion, or agegroup. Consequently, it is expected that a person would develop anunique perspective towards other people. The natural classificationof individuals into various classes seems to overstate the linkbetween bigotry and genetics. Humans have an innate tendency todevelop prejudice that leads to bias (Thörnqvist &Bernhardsson, 2015). Nevertheless, some humans have learned toovercome intense prejudices. Therefore, conscious and sincere actionscan help to stave off discriminatory tendencies.
My personal theory holds that discrimination occurs due to aninflated sense of self-esteem. Each person needs a healthy measure ofself-esteem so as to attain their full potential. Low self-esteem iscounterproductive since it depletes a person’s drive andmotivation. On the other hand, high self-esteem empowers anindividual to pursue success at the highest levels. Feelings ofsuperiority occur when a person considers his circumstances as morefavorable relative to someone else (Rubin et al., 2004). In thisregard, it is possible for two people in different social classes todiscriminate against each other. It is also likely that twoindividuals from the same group would have differences of opiniontowards people in other social groups. Notwithstanding, anexaggerated sense of self-importance is accompanied with adisposition towards maligning others (Thörnqvist &Bernhardsson, 2015). Manifesting discriminative behavior occurs whena person devalues the merits of others while overstating theirqualities.
The theory linking excessive self-esteem to discrimination can beproved using various methods. For example, two people from differentsocial classes can be selected and exposed to the same stimuli. Abusiness executive could be searching for a capable replacement tofill a particular position in the firm. In a situation wherebyqualified male and female candidates would apply, many executiveswill elect to hire the male applicant. Such an outcome is possiblesince the employer considers males to be better than females. Themale manager would have allowed his sense of self-worth to cloud hisjudgment. The female candidate would be overlooked for the positionsince the employer considers her as unworthy. Her experience andqualifications would matter little in the employer’s decision. Thetheory can also be proved by observing a wealthy man`s reaction to amale beggar and a well-dressed female. While the rich man would denya street beggar material support, he would be willing to lend somecoins to a lady attempting to purchase something on the same street.Such an occurrence would show the wealthy man`s bias towards thebeggar based on social status. An overstated view of his wealth wouldcause him to undermine other people with fewer resources.
The rule of cause and effect can be applied to the theory linkingprejudice to excessive self-esteem. As mentioned, self-esteem ariseswhen an individual judges themselves as worthy of special honor ortreatment. Such an outlook is vital for the sake of personalachievement (Thörnqvist & Bernhardsson, 2015). However,appraising one’s condition usually coincides with an involuntarydecision to undermine or suppress other people. Subsequently,feelings of superiority escalate into negative feelings about others.Eventually, negative feelings become reflected through discriminatoryspeech and conduct.
The social-identity theory of common sense has a significant impactto the problem of discrimination. An individual would feel inclinedto support people from social classes that are perceived asdesirable. The social-identity theory also shows that the desire toattain self-esteem would lead a person to pursue benefits thatsupersede those enjoyed by other social classes (Ellis & Tucker,2015). Hindsight could also be applied to explain individual cases ofbias. It is possible to contemplate the causes and implications of adiscriminatory act. Examining the circumstances around an act ofbigotry can help to inform of the reasons for its occurrence. It canalso help to devise possible remedies. The testable theory differsfrom hindsight and common sense in that it is conducted prior to thediscriminatory act. On the other hand, common sense and hindsight canonly be applied after inequity has occurred. Social psychology isrelated to hindsight, scientific experiments, and common sense inthat all methods are concerned with rational choices (Ellis &Tucker, 2015). In this respect, social psychology attempts to explainthe reasons that govern people’s actions. Also, the methods examinethe interactions between different humans in a social setting.
Ellis, D. & Tucker, I. (2015). Social psychology of emotion.London, UK: Sage.
Rubin, M. et al. (2004). Social identity, system justification, andsocial dominance: Commentary on Reicher, Jost et al., and Sidanius etal. Political Psychology, 25(6), 823–844.
Thörnqvist, C. & Bernhardsson, S. (2015). Challengingdiscrimination at work against ethnic minority and migrant workers.Transfer, 21(1), 3-113.