ABSTRACT

As blatant prejudice has become less socially acceptable, prejudice has taken on more subtle forms known as contemporary prejudices. Implicit prejudices are activated automatically in a person’s memory; because implicit prejudices are difficult for people to control they can lead to unintentional biased behaviors. Modern-symbolic prejudice portrays minority groups as morally inferior to the majority group because minority groups supposedly violate traditional majority group values, which arouses mild to moderate anti-minority emotions. Aversive prejudice reflects majority group members’ desire to minimize interactions with minority group members; this occurs because intergroup contact arouses negative emotions based on implicit prejudices acquired while growing up. Ambivalent prejudice consists of a mixture of genuinely positive attitudes toward minority groups and negative attitudes that still linger from childhood socialization. This results in a mixture of positive and negative behaviors toward minority groups. Benevolent prejudice consists of beliefs about outgroups that appear on their surface to be positive but that can have negative consequences. Compared to prejudiced people, unprejudiced people tend to focus on the ways in which social groups’ members are similar rather than how they differ. Unprejudiced people also see differences among people as enriching and interesting rather than disconcerting.