Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 1144-1145


  • Lynnika RouseAffiliated withCenter for Development and Learning, Carolina Institute for Development Disabilities University of North Carolina
  • , Kimberly BookerAffiliated withTexas Woman’s University
  • , Steven Paul StermerAffiliated withOklahoma State University


Bias; Bigotry; Discrimination; Partiality; Preconception; Predisposition; Prejudgment; Race; Racism


Prejudice refers to a preconceived judgment, opinion or attitude directed toward certain people based on their membership in a particular group. It is a set of attitudes, which supports, causes, or justifies discrimination. Prejudice is a tendency to over categorize.


Prejudice is a preconceived attitude that has commonly been used in referring to judgments of one’s race, but is also used when referring to sex, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. The most comprehensive and accepted definition of prejudice was introduced by Gordon Allport [1]. Mr. Allport defined prejudice as “aversive or hostile attitude toward a person who belongs to a group, simply because he belongs to that group, and is therefore presumed to have the objectionable qualities ascribed to that group.”

Prejudice can be classified into three different categori ...

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