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Last updated on Tuesday, June 4, 2024.



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Prejudice refers to a preconceived opinion or attitude towards a person or group, typically one that is not based on reason or actual experience. It often involves prejudging someone based on characteristics such as race, gender, or nationality, leading to discriminatory behavior and negative stereotypes.

The Complex Nature of Prejudice in Cognitive Science

Prejudice is a multifaceted concept that has long been studied in the field of cognitive science. This deep-rooted bias involves making judgments about individuals or groups based on preconceived notions rather than on objective evaluation of facts. In the realm of decision sciences, researchers analyze how prejudice influences decision-making processes and shapes social interactions.

The Cognitive Processes Behind Prejudice

Within cognitive science, prejudice is often understood as a consequence of cognitive biases and heuristics that our brains employ to simplify information processing. These mental shortcuts can lead to categorization of people based on stereotypes, often resulting in discriminatory attitudes and behaviors.

Social cognition researchers investigate how cognitive processes such as categorization, in-group favoritism, and out-group derogation contribute to the formation and reinforcement of prejudice.

Implications for Decision Making

Prejudice can have profound effects on decision-making processes, influencing choices in various domains such as hiring practices, criminal justice, and healthcare. When individuals make decisions based on biases rather than objective criteria, it can lead to unfair outcomes and perpetuate inequality.

Understanding the cognitive mechanisms that underlie prejudice is crucial for developing interventions that can mitigate its impact and promote more equitable decision-making.


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