Social Hierarchy and Prejudices



Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

The course discusses how social psychology has integrated the cognitive and motivational approaches into the investigation of the forming and maintaining of prejudices, what factors explain the dynamics of prejudices on societal level and what factors explain individual differences. It examines the determinants of the perception of legitimacy, stability or changeability of the existing social inequalities. Determinants of the motivation to bring about changes such as system-critical attitudes and egalitarianism as well as guilt felt by members of the privileged groups are also discussed. Special attention is paid to the social psychological roots and the dynamics of extreme prejudices. Methodology of prejudice research, especially methods and findings of prejudice research in Hungary are introduced. Attention is called to the psychology of anti-bias thinking and those methods proven to be efficient in reducing implicit and explicit prejudices and stereotypes as well as intergroup conflicts.

  • Dovidio, J.F.; Glick, P.; Rudman, L.A. (Eds.) (2005). On the Nature of Prejudice. Fifty years after Allport. Blackwell Publishing.
  • Fiske, S.T. (2011). Envy Up, Scorn Down. How Status Divides Us. Russel Sage Foundation, New York.
  • Augoustinos, M.; Reynolds, K.J. (Eds.) (2001). Understanding Prejudice, Racism, and Social Conflict. Sage.
  • Altemeyer, B. The Authoritarians. Bob Altameyer, 2006.