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Prejudice vs. Stereotype: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 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 vs. Stereotype

Key Differences

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Prejudice can manifest in behavior, whereas stereotypes are more about thoughts and beliefs, which can lead to prejudiced attitudes.
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Comparison Chart

XDefinition

A preconceived opinion not based on reason or experience.
A generalized belief about a particular group of people.
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Basis

Often emotional and based on personal biases.
Based on cognitive simplification of information.
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Manifestation

Can result in discriminatory behavior.
Often leads to generalized assumptions.
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Nature

Can be either negative or positive.
Usually negative, but can sometimes be positive.
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Focus

Personal feeling or attitude towards a group.
Widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea.
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Prejudice and Stereotype Definitions

Prejudice

An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand.
She faced prejudice due to her background.
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Stereotype

A standardized mental picture held in common by members of a group.
The stereotype of the successful businessman often includes being ruthless.
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Prejudice

Dislike, hostility, or unjust behavior deriving from unfounded opinions.
Prejudice against older workers is common in some industries.
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Stereotype

A generalized belief about a group applied to every member.
The stereotype that all teenagers are rebellious can be harmful.
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Prejudice

A preconceived preference or idea.
The jury's prejudice about the defendant was clear.
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Stereotype

Simplifying complex realities to generalized traits.
Stereotypes about gender roles persist in many societies.
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Prejudice

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).
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Oct 19, 2023

Stereotype

A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image.
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Prejudice

An adverse judgment or opinion formed unfairly or without knowledge of the facts
A boy with a prejudice against unfamiliar foods.
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Oct 19, 2023

Stereotype

One that is regarded as embodying or conforming to a set image or type.
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Prejudice

Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular social group, such as a race or the adherents of a religion.
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Stereotype

(Printing) A metal printing plate cast from a matrix molded from a raised printing surface, such as type.
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Prejudice

Detriment or harm caused to a person, especially in a legal case
The delay operated to her prejudice.
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Stereotype

To make a stereotype of.
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Prejudice

Preclusionary effect, preventing further pursuit of one's interests
The case was dismissed with prejudice.
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Stereotype

To characterize by a stereotype
"Elderly Americans are the neglected sector of the fashion industry, stereotyped by blue hair and polyester pantsuits" (American Demographics).
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Prejudice

To fill with prejudice or cause to judge with prejudice
My rural upbringing has prejudiced me against living in the city.
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Oct 19, 2023

Stereotype

To give a fixed, unvarying form to.
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Prejudice

To affect detrimentally or harmfully by a judgment or act
Negative media coverage prejudiced people's opinion of the mayor.
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Oct 19, 2023

Stereotype

To print from a stereotype.
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Prejudice

(countable) An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge of the facts.
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Oct 19, 2023

Stereotype

A conventional, formulaic, and often oversimplified or exaggerated conception, opinion, or image of (a person or a group of people).
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Prejudice

(countable) A preconception, any preconceived opinion or feeling, whether positive or negative.
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Oct 19, 2023

Stereotype

(psychology) A person who is regarded as embodying or conforming to a set image or type.
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Prejudice

(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.
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Oct 19, 2023

Stereotype

(printing) A metal printing plate cast from a matrix moulded from a raised printing surface.
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Oct 19, 2023

Prejudice

(obsolete) Knowledge formed in advance; foresight, presaging.
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Stereotype

(software engineering) An extensibility mechanism of the Unified Modeling Language, allowing a new element to be derived from an existing one with added specializations.
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Prejudice

Mischief; hurt; damage; injury; detriment.
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Oct 19, 2023

Stereotype

(transitive) To make a stereotype of someone or something, or characterize someone by a stereotype.
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Oct 19, 2023

Prejudice

(transitive) To have a negative impact on (someone's position, chances etc.).
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Stereotype

To prepare for printing in stereotype; to produce stereotype plates of.
To stereotype the Bible
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Prejudice

(transitive) To cause prejudice in; to bias the mind of.
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Stereotype

To print from a stereotype.
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Prejudice

Misspelling of prejudiced
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Stereotype

To make firm or permanent; to fix.
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Prejudice

Foresight.
Naught might hinder his quick prejudize.
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Stereotype

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.
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Prejudice

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.
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Oct 19, 2023

Stereotype

The art or process of making such plates, or of executing work by means of them.
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Prejudice

A bias on the part of judge, juror, or witness which interferes with fairness of judgment.
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Stereotype

To prepare for printing in stereotype; to make the stereotype plates of; as, to stereotype the Bible.
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Prejudice

Mischief; hurt; damage; injury; detriment.
England and France might, through their amity,Breed him some prejudice.
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Stereotype

Fig.: To make firm or permanent; to fix.
Powerful causes tending to stereotype and aggravate the poverty of old conditions.
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Prejudice

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.
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Stereotype

A conventional or formulaic conception or image;
Regional stereotypes have been part of America since its founding
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Prejudice

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.
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Stereotype

Treat or classify according to a mental stereotype;
I was stereotyped as a lazy Southern European
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Prejudice

A partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation
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Stereotype

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.
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Prejudice

Disadvantage by prejudice
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Stereotype

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.
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Prejudice

Influence (somebody's) opinion in advance
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Prejudice

Prejudgment or forming an opinion without factual basis.
His decision was based on prejudice rather than facts.
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Prejudice

Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.
His comments revealed a deep-seated prejudice.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can prejudice be unconscious?

Yes, often people are not aware of their prejudices.
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Can one be prejudiced in favor of a group?

Yes, positive prejudice is favoring a group without knowing them well.
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Do stereotypes affect how people perceive others?

Yes, they can strongly influence perceptions and interactions.
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Is prejudice always based on race or ethnicity?

No, it can be based on various factors like age, gender, or religion.
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Can stereotypes change over time?

Yes, as societal attitudes and knowledge evolve, so can stereotypes.
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Do stereotypes always influence behavior?

Not always, but they can subtly influence decisions and actions.
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Are prejudices always deliberate?

No, some prejudices are subconscious or implicit.
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Are stereotypes always negative?

Not always, but they often contain a negative component.
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Can prejudice lead to discrimination?

Yes, prejudice can manifest as discriminatory behavior.
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Is stereotyping a form of prejudice?

It can be, especially when it leads to negative assumptions.
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Is it possible to unlearn prejudice?

Yes, through self-awareness and education, prejudices can be unlearned.
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Are all stereotypes harmful?

While not all are harmful, they can limit understanding of individuality.
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Are children born with prejudices?

No, prejudices are learned from the social environment.
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Can media perpetuate stereotypes?

Yes, media representations can reinforce or challenge stereotypes.
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Can prejudice affect mental health?

Yes, experiencing or harboring prejudice can impact mental well-being.
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Can stereotypes be based on some truth?

They might originate from a grain of truth but are oversimplified.
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Can education reduce prejudice?

Yes, education and exposure to diversity can help reduce prejudice.
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Can prejudice be a form of stereotyping?

Prejudice often involves stereotyping as a component.
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Do stereotypes simplify complex human traits?

Yes, they reduce individuals to basic, often inaccurate traits.
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Can one person's actions change stereotypes?

Individual actions can challenge and potentially change stereotypes over time.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila 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.

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