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Psychological factors of Prejudice formation | Situational Factors of Prejudice Formation


Describe the Psychological factors of Prejudice formation


Mention the factors which help in the formation of Prejudice

Psychological factors of Prejudice formation


Some psychological elements are also included in the formation of prejudice, their structure is as follows-

(1) Frustration and aggression – 

Prejudice also arises from frustration. Its basis is aggression. 

When a person sets a goal but he cannot reach that goal due to obstacles, then frustration arises in him. Due to which he becomes aggressive and he displaces his aggression and enmity towards a weaker source i.e. becomes more prejudiced towards him. 


For example- because of frustration today the general class is more prejudiced towards the reserved class. 

Due to frustration, the child breaks the street lamps, breaks the glasses of the cars. In this way, this attitude of his gives rise to prejudice.

(2) Insecurity and anxiety – 

Prejudice in a person also develops from the feeling of insecurity and anxiety. 

The feeling of insecurity and anxiety is more in a person who is unemployed or whose socio-economic level is low or who does not get family love. 

Such individuals develop ambivalent views towards other individuals or other groups, resulting in prejudice. 


For example, studies have found that living alone creates insecurity and anxiety, which leads to prejudice.

(3) Authoritarian personality – 

Individuals with authoritarian personality traits (such as assertiveness, self-confidence, punitiveness, positivity) have more prejudice towards those with weak personality traits. 

The authoritarian persons, who have been trained to live in strict discipline in childhood, are not happy with their parents, but they show their enmity not with the parents but by showing negative attitude towards the outside groups, as a result of which negative prejudice is created. It happens especially their prejudice is more on the elderly. 


For example – a child could not get the love of his parents due to which he used to beat unnecessarily more than the child whose parents loved him a lot.

(4) Social norms – 

Many social norms are very important in the development of preconceptions. 

For example, white people in southern Africa have a high degree of prejudice towards people of the black race, while residents of Scandinavia, Russia, France have very little such attitude. 

In this way, the residents of different nations have different degree of prejudice towards color difference. 


This is the situation in our country also where people of each caste keep meeting with each other, there is not much prejudice towards groups or castes different from themselves.

(5) Discrimination-

Prejudice is formed from childhood itself. In childhood, children play without any kind of discrimination. 

The person with whom he plays may be speaking any caste, religion, language, but as he grows up, he develops a sense of discrimination, as a result of which he keeps himself separate from the other group of children.


(6) Failure – 

Sometimes the feeling of failure also develops prejudices; 

For example, in a village the farmers are poor and the Baniyas are rich. As a result, they are unable to fulfill their needs. As a result, the sense of failure increases in them and they become more prejudiced towards Baniyas and start looting by becoming dacoits.

(7) Abnormal personality - 

Abnormal personality means a mentally ill person. A person who is mentally ill, starts behaving antisocial and violent on the basis of prejudice.


(8) Physical characteristics- 

Many caste groups or national groups etc. have some physical characteristics as a result of which prejudice is formed. 

For example, by looking at a person, we can say whether such a person appears to be a Muslim or a Sikh. 

Along with color appearance, there are also some cultural differences that explain the variation; 

For example, there is a difference in the costumes of Hindus, Muslims, Christians or Sikhs. 

Similarly, seeing Tilak on the head, it can be said that he is a Hindu. 

Similarly, seeing a woman wearing a saree, we can say that she is a Hindu woman. 

By looking at a woman wearing a salwar kurta, one can tell whether she is a Muslim or a Sikh. 

Children see this difference from childhood, so they learn to differentiate between their group and other groups. This is how their prejudice develops.


(9) Self-esteem – 

The sense of self-esteem is also very important in the formation of prejudice. Self-respect is most dear to a person. 

As a result, he wants to show himself higher than others. When he is unable to do so, he creates prejudice. 

For example, upper class people consider themselves superior to lower class people.

Every person wants social prestige, as a result he adopts the ideals, traditions, customs, superstitions etc. of the society.

Situational Factors of Prejudice Formation -


It includes those prejudices which are related to the immediate environment. They create prejudice in three ways-

(1) Social learning – 

During socialization, the child learns from his parents, siblings and neighbors to behave properly towards other persons or groups, to trust them etc. 

At this time, as the education is received from them, the same attitude develops. 

If the parents are Hindi religious then this attitude is present in the child. Studies have shown that there is a lot of similarity between the prejudices of parents and children. 

If the parents have a negative prejudice towards any caste or religion, hatred etc., then this prejudice will also be there in the child.


(2) Demographic characteristics- 

Demographic characteristics refer to geographical area, educational level and age etc. 

Psychologists believe that geographical area, educational level, age are also helpful in the formation of prejudice. 

Prejudice is found more in a less educated person than in an educated person. 

Prejudice towards any caste or religion can be found more in older persons than in younger persons.


(3) Competition in job – 

At present every person wants to get employment. Due to which the competition for getting employment has become tough. 

Due to being rich, the upper class people help their children to get the best education, but the lower class people are deprived of these benefits. 

As a result, the government has made a system of reservation, under which people from lower classes can also get employment. 

As a result, the upper class group thinks that our rights are being taken away, as a result, they are being prejudiced towards those who get the benefits of reservation.