A Journey from Prejudice to Understanding Through Personal Engagement - Essay Sample

Published: 2024-01-30
A Journey from Prejudice to Understanding Through Personal Engagement - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Health and Social Care Mental health
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 653 words
6 min read

A person undergoes cognitive dissonance when there is attitude, thoughts, and beliefs change in the behavior of a group of people or even attitude change. When a person changes an attitude or behavior to fit in a certain group is considered conformity. When a person believes that have control of what is happening in their lives as opposed to external forces is referred to as locus of control. Often people have the habit of blaming external factors for negative events in their lives and taking credit for positive results is what psychologists referred to as self-serving biases. Finally, prejudice is perceived feelings towards a person according to either their beliefs, gender, sex, race, disability, sexuality, social class, or ethnic group ( Kite, Mary & Bernard Psychology of prejudice and discrimination) . Every person has beliefs of a group which either pushes them towards the group or away from it maybe because there is something that attracts them to the group and hence conformity. On the other hand, if a person feels a difference in either the group's beliefs or their attitude, they may avoid or repel the group. This paper focuses on a strategy to help a person decrease their prejudice toward a group.

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In particular, Mary Jones is an American who does not like Africans the possible reasons are, one American in their land feels more superior than the strangers in their land and hence they discriminate against them. Mary does not like to associate with any African in their class, cannot discuss with Africans and even cannot assist them when they are in dire need. Another reason is because of the misconceptions that are portrayed about Africa, as a continent with so many hurdles of life, no electricity connection, poverty cases in Africa, Mary believes any African is one who is needy and hence also discriminates against them because of their social class. Mary is a hard person to change her attitudes towards an African in which she cannot even date an African.

As a friend to Mary, I chose to encourage her to interact deeply with Africans to hear more stories. Associating with Africans, you get to hear stories one on one, Africans have good stories where you hear their countries have developments, unlike the stories we hear from the books. I chose this strategy as I had experiences with Africans and I thought of assisting my friend change her thoughts and perceptions about Africans (Denton, 2011). They are beautiful, beautiful colors and hair, they are also friendly. Africans also love telling and hearing stories. I enjoy engaging with Africans I thought Mary since she enjoys adventures would change her thoughts by letting her know more about Africans.

After engaging with Maria, I convinced her about how good my African friends were, we would hang out with them and her and she started talking to them. There is this one day they chatted with an African for a long time, laughing and I could see she was conforming and bonding with them well. She started hanging out with them without even me being included, which was a positive move. We also planned a tour to African to see the beautiful sceneries. I was happy to see her change her thoughts and beliefs. I learned a person has control of what they absorb in their mind, Mary believed Africans as stubborn and hence would not associate with them but after interacting with them she changes a whole perspective. The cognitive development of Mary changed and her prejudice reduced, she likes Africans even more even in college she prefers African friends. I believe should learn to interact with things and people around them before concluding my beliefs. Mary is now a changed and a happy person.


Denton, R., 2011. The top 10 strategies for reducing prejudice. Greater Good Magazine,.

Kite, Mary E., and Bernard E. Whitley Jr. Psychology of prejudice and discrimination. Psychology Press, 2016.

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