Psychology (Stereotyping, Prejudice & Discrimination) AQA GCSE

A set of psychology revision cards for the stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination section.


A stereotype is a shared belief about the characteristics of those who belong to a specific social or physical group.

For example "all English people drink too much."

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Advanatages and Disadvantages of Stereotypes


  • They are usually oversimplified
  • They lead us to make assumptions about others
  • They can affect what we remember about others
  • They lead us to view members of out groups in a negative way leading to prejudice.


  • It can enable us to react quickly situations
  • Its a simple way of organising and storing and organising
  • It reduces the amount of cognitive effort needed
  • They help us interpret information about others
  • They provide us with a sense of belonging.
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Prejudice is an attitude normally negative towards a particualr group of people based on a stereotype.

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Treating people unfavourably on the basis of their membership within a stereotype

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Adorno et al (1950)

A: To find out whether people can be prejudiced purely based upon their personality.

P:They interviewed hundreds of former Nazi soldiers, and developed a scale to rate their personality called the F (fascist) Scale.

F: They found a particular set of characteristics common to the nazi soldiers and deemed their personalities to be authoritarian. An authoritarian personality usually tended to be

  • Hostile towards those of inferior social status.
  • Rigid in their opinions
  • Not willing to accept new ideas or situations

C: In conclusion they have characteristics which actively categorise people into in and out groups. Which tend to make them Hostile.

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Social identity theory

Social identity theory is theory in which we Socially categorise ourselves into in groups and out groups. We beleive ourselves to be present in the in-group and others present in the out-group and blame the failures of our own group on other groups to maintain our Social Identity.

When you blame stuff on someone else it is called Scapegoating.

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Self Esteem & Self Image

Self esteem is how we think and feel about ourselves.

Self Image is how we believe others see us.

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Sherif et al. (1961)

A: To investigate the idea that inter-group conflict arises when two groups are competing.

P:The behaviour of 12 year old boys at a summer camp was measured the 22 PP's who did not know each other were split into two groups who competed for different goals and when one team gained the other lost.

F: Hostility quickly arose between the boys each group becoming more and more united the more aggressive boys becoming leaders. The stage to reduce prejudice was ineffective. Only the final stage eliminated the hostility.

C: In conclusion competition increases hostility towards other groups.

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Aronson et al. (1978)

A: To see if they could reduce prejudice inbetween white and black kids at a school in texas.

P: They divided the class into groups of racially mixed children  and allowed them to work together class.

F: When Aronson evaluated he found increased co-operation, and that prejudice of other members of the group began to break down unfortunately this prejudice did not generalise to people outside of these few, seeing them as exceptions to thr rule.

C: In conclusion this technique can reduce prejudice but not stereotypes

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Elliott (1977)

A: To test that if we experienced prejudice ourselves we would in turn become less prejudiced.

P: Elliott divided her class into brown and blue eyed children. She then informed the children that the children with brown eyes were smarter and gave them extra priveleges while taking privileges from the blue eyed group. On the next day she informed them that there had been a mistake and infact the blue eyed children were better and reversed the childrens roles. On the third day she told them that no-onew was the best and that they should not judge each other on irrelevant physical factors.

F: On day one Brown eyed children became more dominant and produced better work treating the blue eyed children as inferior. On day two the roles quickly reversed.

C: Elliott then went on to find these children at the age of 18 to see if they were more tolerant of others and when asked why they used the study as evidence of this.

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