To what extent are all people prejudiced? Social Psychologists argue that prejudice is best explained by situational factors, such as social norms, and competition for resources. In contrast, Cognitive Psychologists emphasize the role of cognitive processes that all people use all the time. As Paul Bloom suggests in the video below, thinking of prejudice as a natural consequence of how humans process information can allow us to better understand how to combat the harmful effects of prejudice. This discussion board explores this idea. You may find information from 5.6 Prejudice and Altruism and the idea of heuristics and automatic processing from 5.8 Problem solving will help with this assignment.
Respond to the prompt
Watch Paul Bloom’s TED talk (above), then respond to one of the prompts below. Your response should provide enough detail to show that you have watched the video, understand what Bloom is suggesting, and have come up with your own opinion on the topic. Note that you don’t have to agree with Bloom, you just need to understand what he is saying and critically evaluate the evidence he uses to support his ideas. Please respond carefully and thoughtfully to just one of the prompts rather than giving a brief answer to all three prompts. Your answer needs to be in your own words. As a rule of thumb, in a complete answer to the prompt you should be writing at least six sentences.
Option 1: Bloom asserts that prejudice is a natural result of human cognitive processes. Describe at least one piece of evidence that he uses to support this idea. Do you agree or disagree with his assertion? Explain your position and give evidence to support your argument.
Option 2: Bloom’s talk is titled “Can prejudice ever be a good thing?” suggesting that there are times when prejudice a rational, adaptive form of decision making. Give examples of times when the thought processes that cause prejudice can be helpful, or provide a counterargument to Blooms assertion.
Option 3: How might understanding the cognitive processes that lead to prejudice help us avoid making prejudiced judgments that are harmful or hurtful? Describe what you can do personally to become more aware of your prejudices and change your thought patterns.