Prejudice vs. Stereotype: Know the Difference
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on November 16, 2023
Prejudice is a preconceived opinion not based on reason or experience, while a stereotype is a generalized belief about a particular group of people.
Prejudice can be negative or positive but often leads to unfair treatment. Stereotypes, while they can be positive, are mostly negative and can reinforce societal biases.
Prejudice can manifest in behavior, whereas stereotypes are more about thoughts and beliefs, which can lead to prejudiced attitudes.
Prejudice is often rooted in emotions and personal biases, sometimes leading to discriminatory behavior. Stereotypes are more about cognitive processes, where complex information is simplified into generalizations.
Prejudice refers to prejudgment or forming an opinion before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case. Stereotypes, however, are oversimplified generalized beliefs about a group that do not account for individual differences.
Prejudice involves a personal element of feeling or attitude towards a group. Stereotypes are widely held but fixed and oversimplified images or ideas of a particular type of person.
A preconceived opinion not based on reason or experience.
A generalized belief about a particular group of people.
Often emotional and based on personal biases.
Based on cognitive simplification of information.
Can result in discriminatory behavior.
Often leads to generalized assumptions.
Can be either negative or positive.
Usually negative, but can sometimes be positive.
Personal feeling or attitude towards a group.
Widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea.
Prejudice and Stereotype Definitions
An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand.
She faced prejudice due to her background.
A standardized mental picture held in common by members of a group.
The stereotype of the successful businessman often includes being ruthless.
Dislike, hostility, or unjust behavior deriving from unfounded opinions.
Prejudice against older workers is common in some industries.
A generalized belief about a group applied to every member.
The stereotype that all teenagers are rebellious can be harmful.
A preconceived preference or idea.
The jury's prejudice about the defendant was clear.
Simplifying complex realities to generalized traits.
Stereotypes about gender roles persist in many societies.
The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions
“This is not actually a volume of the best short stories … These are just the stories that I like best, and I am full of prejudice and strong opinions” (Ann Patchett).
A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image.
An adverse judgment or opinion formed unfairly or without knowledge of the facts
A boy with a prejudice against unfamiliar foods.
One that is regarded as embodying or conforming to a set image or type.
Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular social group, such as a race or the adherents of a religion.
(Printing) A metal printing plate cast from a matrix molded from a raised printing surface, such as type.
Detriment or harm caused to a person, especially in a legal case
The delay operated to her prejudice.
To make a stereotype of.
Preclusionary effect, preventing further pursuit of one's interests
The case was dismissed with prejudice.
To characterize by a stereotype
"Elderly Americans are the neglected sector of the fashion industry, stereotyped by blue hair and polyester pantsuits" (American Demographics).
To fill with prejudice or cause to judge with prejudice
My rural upbringing has prejudiced me against living in the city.
To give a fixed, unvarying form to.
To affect detrimentally or harmfully by a judgment or act
Negative media coverage prejudiced people's opinion of the mayor.
To print from a stereotype.
(countable) An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge of the facts.
A conventional, formulaic, and often oversimplified or exaggerated conception, opinion, or image of (a person or a group of people).
(countable) A preconception, any preconceived opinion or feeling, whether positive or negative.
(psychology) A person who is regarded as embodying or conforming to a set image or type.
(countable) An irrational hostile attitude, fear or hatred towards a particular group, race or religion.
I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.
(printing) A metal printing plate cast from a matrix moulded from a raised printing surface.
(obsolete) Knowledge formed in advance; foresight, presaging.
(software engineering) An extensibility mechanism of the Unified Modeling Language, allowing a new element to be derived from an existing one with added specializations.
Mischief; hurt; damage; injury; detriment.
(transitive) To make a stereotype of someone or something, or characterize someone by a stereotype.
(transitive) To have a negative impact on (someone's position, chances etc.).
To prepare for printing in stereotype; to produce stereotype plates of.
To stereotype the Bible
(transitive) To cause prejudice in; to bias the mind of.
To print from a stereotype.
Misspelling of prejudiced
To make firm or permanent; to fix.
Naught might hinder his quick prejudize.
A plate forming an exact faximile of a page of type or of an engraving, used in printing books, etc.; specifically, a plate with type-metal face, used for printing.
An opinion or judgment formed without due examination; prejudgment; a leaning toward one side of a question from other considerations than those belonging to it; an unreasonable predilection for, or objection against, anything; especially, an opinion or leaning adverse to anything, without just grounds, or before sufficient knowledge.
Though often misled by prejudice and passion, he was emphatically an honest man.
The art or process of making such plates, or of executing work by means of them.
A bias on the part of judge, juror, or witness which interferes with fairness of judgment.
To prepare for printing in stereotype; to make the stereotype plates of; as, to stereotype the Bible.
Mischief; hurt; damage; injury; detriment.
England and France might, through their amity,Breed him some prejudice.
Fig.: To make firm or permanent; to fix.
Powerful causes tending to stereotype and aggravate the poverty of old conditions.
To cause to have prejudice; to prepossess with opinions formed without due knowledge or examination; to bias the mind of, by hasty and incorrect notions; to give an unreasonable bent to, as to one side or the other of a cause; as, to prejudice a critic or a juryman.
Suffer not any beloved study to prejudice your mind so far as to despise all other learning.
A conventional or formulaic conception or image;
Regional stereotypes have been part of America since its founding
To obstruct or injure by prejudices, or by previous bias of the mind; hence, generally, to hurt; to damage; to injure; to impair; as, to prejudice a good cause.
Seek how may prejudice the foe.
Treat or classify according to a mental stereotype;
I was stereotyped as a lazy Southern European
A partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation
A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person.
The stereotype of the absent-minded professor is often seen in movies.
Disadvantage by prejudice
A stereotype can also refer to a conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image.
She challenged the stereotype of a passive housewife in her writings.
Influence (somebody's) opinion in advance
Prejudgment or forming an opinion without factual basis.
His decision was based on prejudice rather than facts.
Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.
His comments revealed a deep-seated prejudice.
Repeatedly Asked Queries
Can prejudice be unconscious?
Yes, often people are not aware of their prejudices.
Can one be prejudiced in favor of a group?
Yes, positive prejudice is favoring a group without knowing them well.
Do stereotypes affect how people perceive others?
Yes, they can strongly influence perceptions and interactions.
Is prejudice always based on race or ethnicity?
No, it can be based on various factors like age, gender, or religion.
Can stereotypes change over time?
Yes, as societal attitudes and knowledge evolve, so can stereotypes.
Do stereotypes always influence behavior?
Not always, but they can subtly influence decisions and actions.
Are prejudices always deliberate?
No, some prejudices are subconscious or implicit.
Are stereotypes always negative?
Not always, but they often contain a negative component.
Can prejudice lead to discrimination?
Yes, prejudice can manifest as discriminatory behavior.
Is stereotyping a form of prejudice?
It can be, especially when it leads to negative assumptions.
Is it possible to unlearn prejudice?
Yes, through self-awareness and education, prejudices can be unlearned.
Are all stereotypes harmful?
While not all are harmful, they can limit understanding of individuality.
Are children born with prejudices?
No, prejudices are learned from the social environment.
Can media perpetuate stereotypes?
Yes, media representations can reinforce or challenge stereotypes.
Can prejudice affect mental health?
Yes, experiencing or harboring prejudice can impact mental well-being.
Can stereotypes be based on some truth?
They might originate from a grain of truth but are oversimplified.
Can education reduce prejudice?
Yes, education and exposure to diversity can help reduce prejudice.
Can prejudice be a form of stereotyping?
Prejudice often involves stereotyping as a component.
Do stereotypes simplify complex human traits?
Yes, they reduce individuals to basic, often inaccurate traits.
Can one person's actions change stereotypes?
Individual actions can challenge and potentially change stereotypes over time.
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Written byShumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.