Pro-Action Myths About Prejudicial Behavior Taining Alert

Myths About Prejudice Reduction

1. A strong desire for the reduction of prejudicial behavior will reduce prejudicial behavior.
Desire is not enough. In fact there is evidence that a strong desire to be prejudice-free without some comfort and a level of skills to relate cross culturally and some comfort might even produce stage fright and anxiety that will appear to be abrupt and or even hostile.

2. We should just stop thinking those prejudice thoughts.
There is evidence that the repression of stereotyped thoughts will not reduce prejudiced thinking but will simply repress it for a short time; the stereotyped thoughts will then return or rebound with greater strength. It is far more effective to replace the stereotyped thought or image with a more positive image or thought.

3. Those with the strongest prejudices need prejudice reduction the most.
There is little evidence that those with the strongest prejudices will to be changed by prejudice reduction training in any positive way. When strongly prejudiced people take part in prejudice reduction activities there is evidence that they often grow stronger in their prejudices. There seems to be more support for managing their prejudicial behavior through environmental discouragement. The most likely outcome from providing prejudice reduction for the strongly prejudiced is backlash because the process threatens their way of being.

4. If we spend time together with people about whom we have learned negative stereotypes, the prejudicial thinking will fade away.
Simply coming together is not enough. Certain other conditions need to exist in order for prejudices to be reduced. People need to come together with equal status and equal power, they need to not be competing with each other so that they do not benefit from the other's misfortune. They need to come together doing something that is cooperative and successful. To bring people together in competitive relationships or with unequal power or into a process that results in a negative outcome is not productive in reducing prejudices.

5. Whenever one does something that is to the disadvantage of others simply because of their skin color or gender it is an intentional act of prejudicial behavior.
Their is strong evidence that stereotypes in our culture are widely known and influence our behavior far more than we might wish. Often times the sudden or fast decisions that are made without people focusing their attention upon the justification for the decision are made on the basis of stereotyped information even when this stereotyped information may be in conflict with the person's beliefs.

6. Those who behave in prejudicial ways are not bothered by their own behavior.

There is evidence that some people feel guilty or self-critical after taking subtle stereotype based actions that are in disagreement with their beliefs. This is not true of the strongly prejudiced personalities who seem to feel no remorse. But for those who are committed to a more egalitarian sense of fairness and non-prejudicial life style guilt may very well be an experience that follows an act of prejudicial behavior.

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Understanding Prejudicial Behavior

Who Can Reduce Prejudicial Behavior

Reducing Prejudices within an Organization

Some Impacts of Prejudicial Behavior

Assessing Your Knowledge of Prejudices

Myths, FAQ, Alerts, ect.

Some Dynamics of Prejudicial Behavior

Assessing Your Own Prejudices

Our Connection to Others, the Earth and Future

Publications,Training Materials and Workshops

Reducing Your Prejudicial Behavior

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