Prejudices and Ideologies



Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 1

Typically offered in

Autumn semester

Course description

The course discusses the main social psychological theories on prejudice and stereotyping with the aim of understanding social and cognitive motives. Social stereotypes, prejudices and psychological needs related to justification of social hierarchy and causes of intergroup conflicts are critically analyzed. The social-psychological and historical-evolutionary causes and consequences of racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-semitism and the role of ideologies in maintainig and reducing prejudices and stereotypes will be discussed. Preconditions and pitfalls of reducing prejudice as well as strategies for intergroup reconciliation will also be examined.

Learning outcome, competences

  • is aquainted with the most important theoretical approaches on prejudices and stereotypes
  • is familiar with the different paradigms of researching prejudices and stereotypes
  • undertands the role of prejudices and stereotypes in justifying and maintaining social hierarchies
  • is familiar with the theoretical background of the different approaches of prejudice reduction


  • is sensitive to all forms of discrimination
  • is able to empathise with the experience of being discriminated against
  • is committed towards respecting human rights and human dignity


  • is able to differentiate between essentialist prejudices and stereotypes and their consequences
  • is able to reflect at own prejudices and stereotypes, to understand their influences on own behaviors
  • is able to recognise manifestations of stereotyping and prejudices in the media and in education, and able to analyse them critically

Content of the course
Topics of the course

  • Introduction
  • The concepts of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination
  • How psychologist study prejudice and discrimination
  • Social categorization and stereotypes
  • Stereotype activation and application
  • Old-fashioned and contemporary forms of prejudice
  • Individual differences and prejudice
  • The development of prejudice in children
  • The social context of prejudice
  • From prejudice to discrimination
  • The experience of discrimination
  • Reducing prejudice and discrimination
  • Poster presentations
  • Final test

Learning activities, learning methods

  • essay writing (experince of taking the IAT)
  • lectures - small group discussion
  • own research, poster presentation and essay

Evaluation of outcomes
Learning requirements, mode of evaluation, criteria of evaluation:


  • 10 % short essay
  • 40 % poster presentation and essay
  • 50 % test mode of evaluation: complex (written and oral)

criteria of evaluation:

  • adequate knowledge of the literature
  • application of the theoretical knowledge for analysing examples of prejudices and stereotypes


Compulsory reading list

  • Textbook: Kite, M.E. & Whitley, Jr., B.E. (2016) Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination. 3rd Edition. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, NY & London.

Recommended reading list

  • Dovidion, J. F. – Glick, P. – Rudman, L.A. (2005). On the nature of prejudice. Fifty years after Allport. Blackwell Publishing.
  • Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2001). Attachment theory and intergroup bias: evidence that priming the secure base schema attenuates negative reactions to out-groups. Journal of personality and social psychology, 81(1), 97-115.
  • Velasco González, K., Verkuyten, M., Weesie, J., & Poppe, E. (2008). Prejudice towards Muslims in the Netherlands: Testing integrated threat theory. British Journal of Social Psychology, 47(4), 667-685.
  • Charles-Toussaint, G. C., & Crowson, H. M. (2010). Prejudice against international students: the role of threat perceptions and authoritarian dispositions in US students. The Journal of psychology, 144(5), 413-428.