SMSC and Psychology

SMSC and Psychology

Prejudice and Discrimination

In Year 12, our students have recently been learning about the causes of prejudice and discrimination. They have examined the psychological theories as to why these behaviours exist and have also been discussing ways that they can be reduced.

One example of how discrimination can be reduced in schools is through the use of Superordinate Goals. These are shared goals where all members of the group have to work together in order to succeed.

This idea has been supported by Sherif’s (1954) study. Sherif studied two groups of boys at a summer camp to see how they interacted. When the boys were separated out into two groups, each group became hostile towards the other. When the groups were given superordinate goals (such as fixing the water tank that provided them both with water), the boys came together and their hostility towards each other reduced.

I hope that this has enabled our students to reflect on their own behaviour and consider/question any of their own prejudiced beliefs.

Mrs Harrison

Subject Leader for Psychology