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Four-way 18th-century English prejudice

A prejudice is a prejudgment, an assumption made about someone or something before having adequate knowledge to be able to do so with guaranteed accuracy. The word prejudice is most commonly used to refer to a preconceived judgment toward a people or a person because of race, social class, gender, ethnicity, age, disability, political beliefs, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics. It also means beliefs without knowledge of the facts[1] and may include "any unreasonable attitude that is unusually resistant to rational influence."[2]

Common misconceptions

At times, the terms prejudice and stereotype might be confusing:

  • Prejudices are abstract-general preconceptions or abstract-general attitudes towards any type of situations, object, or person.
  • Stereotypes are generalizations of existing characteristics that reduce complexity.

See also



  1. William James wrote, "A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."Quotes -- Courtesy of The Freeman Institute
  2. Rosnow, Ralph L.; Poultry and Prejudice. Psychologist Today, (March, 1972): p. 53.
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