Difference Between Attitude and Prejudice

Attitude vs Prejudice

There is a huge interest in finding the difference between attitude and prejudice as both these are feelings of human beings and are terms that can be easily confused. Attitudes are common to all humans. Anybody can have both positive and negative attitudes towards something. Attitudes could be in favor of something or vice versa. On the other hand, prejudice is a prejudgment of something without really having exposed to the real situation. Prejudice is always an unfavorable conclusion about somebody. However, both attitudes and prejudices can be seen in almost every person.

What does Attitude mean?

Attitude is an expression, which sometimes is favorable and sometimes unfavorable, towards a person, a place, a situation or any object. Most humans get their decisions in life based on their attitudes. Attitude can be considered as some sort of a belief as well. It could be the way how a person sees and understand a certain phenomenon. Attitude can be either negative or positive. Also, a negative attitude could be turned to a positive attitude later on and vice versa. It has been found that there are two types of attitudes in humans. They are explicit attitudes and implicit attitudes. Explicit attitudes are deliberately formed ones. That means a person has developed an attitude towards something being really aware of that. Implicit attitudes, on the other hand, said to be formed by an individual subconsciously. That is a particular person may not be aware of the attitude formed in him/her. However, attitudes are an important phenomenon in all individuals’ lives because attitudes may control the peoples’ behavior and thought patterns. Moreover, there are group attitudes that are shared by a particular group of people and there are attitude changes as well. It can be said that all the relationships that exist among humans are based on an attitude structure. Further, different individuals may share different attitudes towards a similar phenomenon. One may have a positive attitude regarding a certain thing whereas another person may perceive the same thing in a negative manner. Thus, attitudes are not always shared and the perception is one of the main factors in building attitudes.

What does Prejudice mean?

Prejudice is forming of a negative attitude towards a person without having a full realization of facts. That is like making a prejudgment. There can be prejudices over age, social class, ethnicity, race, culture, family and so many other things. The apparent thing here is that a particular person does not look deep into the phenomenon before making a conclusion. Somebody can have a prejudice over a person or a particular group of people, based on a misunderstanding or because of ignorance. Prejudice is always a negative scenario which should not be practiced by people.

Difference Between Attitude and Prejudice

What is the difference between Attitude and Prejudice?

When we take both attitude and prejudice, we can identify that both are human feelings towards something.

• Attitude can be aimed at a person, an object, a place or may be a situation whereas prejudice aims at a person or a group of people.

• Moreover, attitude can both be positive or negative but prejudice is always a negative phenomenon.

• Attitudes are formed after a full investigation of a particular fact whereas prejudice is based on prejudgment.

• In addition, prejudice can also be considered as an attitude that is not formed through an experience of the facts.

In similar terms, we see that attitudes as well as prejudice may change over the time and they are not permanent ideologies.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Confront Prejudice by John LeMasney (CC BY-SA 3.0)