Social Psychology Contributions to Reducing InterGroup Prejudice

This essay stresses that stereotypical ideas about a particular group are often most prevalent in continuing inter-group prejudice. Social psychology offers that it is the human propensity to make rash, unjustified judgements against others that creates conflict between different groups. The attribution theory suggests that people tend to make judgements about the cause of someone else’s behaviour that are usually quite false. To illustrate, members of a social group might offer that a particular ethnic group is ignorant because they cannot speak English. The fact of the matter is most likely that the group chooses not to speak English because of their desire to honour heritage. These false assumptions tend to instil, however subliminally, a negative connotation that only grows through time as more and more members of the English-speaking group grow to believe these false attributions.
This project makes a conclusion that social psychologists recognise this tendency to make irrational assumptions and offer communication models to deal with the problem. Proper communication between differing groups can be accomplished with each side offering the reasons behind their motivations and in offering to allow outgroups to learn about its needs. The creation of inter-group prejudice is largely dependent on the nature of the opposing viewpoints between two groups and the value system of each group. Most often, prejudicial attitudes are borne of misunderstandings regarding cultural values, but can also become a custom in itself.