ROBIN M. WILLIAMS, JR.
Defined here as a rigid negative prejudgement of an individual or a group, the concept is derived from the Latin prejudicium , referring to a preceding judgement or decision, a precedent, or damage. The basic connotations include bias, partiality, predisposition, preconception. In modern usage the term carries many variant meanings. Common to most of these, however, are the notions of an unfavourable previous judgement made in advance of full consideration, and rigidly held even in the face of evidence which contradicts it. Because of its broad scope and complex connotations in ordinary language, the term always should be interpreted in the specific context in which it is used (see Williams, 1964, pp. 28–9). In modern social science the typical usage refers to categorical prejudgements that have cognitive components (beliefs, stereotypes), affective components (disliking, aversion), and evaluative or conative aspects (such as dispositions toward public policies) (see Blalock, 1967, p. 7; Klineberg, 1968, p. 439). Definitions of prejudice are necessarily range-definitions which focus on certain characteristics, selected from a wider range of other characteristics. For example, some authorities specify that prejudices are not only unfavourable and categorical but also inflexible, rigid and based on inadequate knowledge or false judgement. Thus Allport (1976, pp. 515–16) holds that ... log in or subscribe to read full text
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