Prejudices’ Underlying Psychological Motivations

Various psychological motivations inform the development of prejudices against given individuals or populations: self-esteem, positive distinctiveness, certainty and structure, survival, and dominance. At times, people utilize prejudicial attitudes or acts to enhance their self-esteem. People utilize prejudicial attitudes against others to themselves as positively, or favorably, distinct from them or their social classes. People utilize prejudicial attitudes against others to restore certainty, as well as structure, in their world perspectives or belief systems. Prejudice is at times driven by elementary survival desires or motives. At times, people utilize prejudicial attitudes against given individuals or population to dominate, or control, them (Ewen & Ewen, 2006).

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