Prejudice vs. Discrimination

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Prejudice and Discrimination is that the Prejudice is a prejudgment, or forming an opinion before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case and Discrimination is a prejudicial treatment based on membership in a certain group

  • Prejudice

    Prejudice is an affective feeling towards a person or group member based solely on their group membership. The word is often used to refer to preconceived, usually unfavorable, feelings towards people or a person because of their sex, gender, beliefs, values, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, language, nationality, beauty, occupation, education, criminality, sport team affiliation or other personal characteristics. In this case, it refers to a positive or negative evaluation of another person based on their perceived group membership.

    Prejudice can also refer to unfounded beliefs and it may include “any unreasonable attitude that is unusually resistant to rational influence”. Gordon Allport defined prejudice as a “feeling, favorable or unfavorable, toward a person or thing, prior to, or not based on, actual experience”. For the evolutionary psychology perspective, see Prejudice from an evolutionary perspective. Auestad (2015) defines prejudice as characterized by ‘symbolic transfer’, transfer of a value-laden meaning content onto a socially formed category and then on to individuals who are taken to belong to that category, resistance to change, and overgeneralization.

  • Discrimination

    In human social behavior, discrimination is treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction towards, a person based on the group, class, or category to which the person is perceived to belong. These include age, colour, criminal record, height, disability, ethnicity, family status, gender identity, generation, genetic characteristics, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Discrimination consists of treatment of an individual or group, based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category, “in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated”. It involves the group’s initial reaction or interaction going on to influence the individual’s actual behavior towards the group leader or the group, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on illogical or irrational decision making.Discriminatory traditions, policies, ideas, practices and laws exist in many countries and institutions in every part of the world, including in territories where discrimination is generally looked down upon. In some places, controversial attempts such as quotas have been used to benefit those who are believed to be current or past victims of discrimination—but they have sometimes been called reverse discrimination.

  • Prejudice (noun)

    An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge of the facts.

  • Prejudice (noun)

    Any preconceived opinion or feeling, whether positive or negative.

  • Prejudice (noun)

    An irrational hostile attitude, fear or hatred towards a particular group, race or religion.

    “I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.”

  • Prejudice (noun)

    Knowledge formed in advance; foresight, presaging.

  • Prejudice (noun)

    Mischief; hurt; damage; injury; detriment.

  • Prejudice (verb)

    To have a negative impact on (someone’s position, chances etc.).

  • Prejudice (verb)

    To cause prejudice in; to bias the mind of.

  • Discrimination (noun)

    Discernment, the act of discriminating, discerning, distinguishing, noting or perceiving differences between things, with intent to understand rightly and make correct decisions.

  • Discrimination (noun)

    The act of recognizing the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in situations and choosing good.

  • Discrimination (noun)

    (sometimes discrimination against) Distinct treatment of an individual or group to their disadvantage; treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit; partiality; prejudice; bigotry.


    “sexual or racial discrimination”

    “reverse discrimination”

  • Discrimination (noun)

    The quality of being discriminating, acute discernment, specifically in a learning situation; as to show great discrimination in the choice of means.

  • Discrimination (noun)

    That which discriminates; mark of distinction, a characteristic.

  • Discrimination (noun)

    the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex

    “victims of racial discrimination”

    “discrimination against homosexuals”

  • Discrimination (noun)

    recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another

    “discrimination between right and wrong”

    “young children have difficulties in making fine discriminations”

  • Discrimination (noun)

    the ability to judge what is of high quality; good judgement or taste

    “those who could afford to buy showed little taste or discrimination”

  • Discrimination (noun)

    the ability to distinguish between different stimuli

    “discrimination learning”

  • Discrimination (noun)

    the selection of a signal having a required characteristic, such as frequency or amplitude, by means of a discriminator.

Oxford Dictionary

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