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MCAT Psychology Question — Thought Process

In a fit of passion, the spectator of a political debate exclaims that “welfare recipients are all lazy.” The spectator’s thought process is an example of:

a) prejudice

b) discrimination

c) ethnocentrism

d) conflict theory





Prejudice consists of inflexible and irrational attitudes held by one group about another. Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or category, “in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated.”

While the outburst could be considered discriminatory, the thought process underlying the outburst would be described as prejudice.

Ethnocentrism refers to evaluation of others’ cultures based on one’s own cultural norms and values. Conflict theory refers to perspectives in sociology that emphasize the social, political, or material inequality of social groups, allowing for macro-level analysis.

a) prejudice, correct.

b) discrimination, incorrect, the question is about the thought process and not the action or behavior.

c) ethnocentrism, incorrect, The outburst is not an evaluation of another’s ethnic culture.

d) conflict theory, incorrect, While conflict theory perspectives do often pit social classes against each other, this sociological perspective does not describe the thought process at work here.


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