Psychology and psychology researchers have found that many people who are victims of prejudice do not necessarily have a history of prejudice themselves.
In a new study, the researchers looked at data from nearly 3,000 adults in the United States who had experienced some form of discrimination.
In the study, subjects were asked about their experiences of prejudice in the past, and then they were given a test designed to assess their prejudice level.
When participants were given the test, their level of prejudice decreased over time, but it didn’t correlate with the amount of time they spent in an isolated environment, said lead author Elizabeth Kuznekoff, an associate professor at the University of Southern California.
That’s because people who experience prejudice may not have been exposed to it in the first place.
“We were interested to see if this could be a measure of prejudice as well as actual prejudice,” she said.
“And we found that it was.”
The study also found that the more people experienced prejudice, the less prejudice they had developed, but that the people who developed more prejudice didn’t develop as much of a negative self-concept.
For the participants, the test showed a correlation between their level in prejudice and their level on the test.
This suggests that individuals who have more prejudice have a better ability to develop a positive self-image.
This could explain why the more negative attitudes they had toward others, the more they developed negative self‐concepts.
“These findings help us understand how people who have been victims of prejudicial attitudes can develop and develop into more tolerant, more self‐accepting individuals,” Kuznec said.
In other words, it may not be that the person is less prejudiced, but they may have developed more of a self‐image that has more room for them to develop and improve.
This research is the latest in a growing body of research on prejudice, which has been linked to increased rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.
It’s also an issue that’s received less attention, but the research has shown that prejudice has a wide range of negative effects on individuals, Kuznokoff said.
A person with a more negative self image may feel more fearful or guilty about their own actions and may be more likely to engage in destructive behaviors, such as lying, stealing, and violence.
And people who perceive themselves to be less competent or good at their jobs may also be less likely to get hired.
People who are perceived to be more prejudiced may also find it harder to find a mate, Kazana said.
So the next time you see someone you know being nice to you, you might want to remember that they might be the kind of person who develops a more positive self‐view of himself and his actions.