Psychological Self-Help

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example, if you hear on the evening news that a local 15-year-old girl was
brutally assaulted by a huge, blond, handsome, white man, and the next day
a big, attractive, white man walks into where you work, it is the nature of our
species to wonder if this could be the assailant or, at least, if this man could
be dangerous too. You might even be a little less friendly and avoid getting
physically close. You have prejudged this stranger! If big white men were
constantly coming into your work area, your suspiciousness would quickly
extinguish because most would be nice. But if white men rarely came to your
work place, your prejudice might last for weeks and months...or even grow.
You couldn't have avoided the evening news. 
Thus, any negative information--even false rumors--you have heard about
any person or any group--murder among black men, sexual sinfulness among
preachers, binge drinking among college students, etc., etc.--forms the basis
for a prejudgment. Likewise, any person associated with a negative life
experience--the first kid to beat up on you, the first boy/girl to two-time you,
the first boss to fire you--forms expectations of others who look or act as
he/she did. This acquiring of prejudiced expectations may be beyond our
control. It may be a natural, innate coping mechanism of humans. And,
unfortunately, in this way, we are constantly adding new prejudices to the
deeply entrenched cultural and familial ones from childhood. However,
reacting to these prejudgments with rational judgments may be well within
our control, if we know what is going on inside of us. 
Prejudice with compunction
Patricia Devine, University of Wisconsin at Madison, distinguishes between
prejudice with compunction (guilt or regret) and prejudice without
compunction. High-prejudice people without compunction respond
automatically and strongly, seeing nothing wrong with their attitude and
reactions. The low-prejudice person with compunction has less of a negative
reaction and often realizes that his/her emotional reaction is not "what it
should be" or not rational; thus, he/she regrets his/her prejudicial attitudes or
suspicions. This kind of low-prejudice people constantly tries to monitor and
correct their thinking. Examples: "Just because one big white man assaulted
someone is no reason for me to suspect this man" or "okay, this person is
unattractive (or handsome/beautiful), but that isn't related to how well
he/she can do the job." People with high self-esteem, optimism, and
tolerance are more aware and better able to control their prejudiced
judgments. It is possible. 
In my opinion, since all of us have many irrational feelings (prejudices)
and constantly develop new ones, all of us must learn to recognize these
prejudgments as soon as possible and correct them. It is hard, sometimes,
because these prejudices show themselves in subtle ways known only to you,
e.g. holding on to your purse or valuables especially carefully while you are
next to a black man, being reluctant to vote for a woman or a Jew, dreading
your daughter dating someone of another race or religion, believing women
shouldn't serve in combat, feeling a little resentment if a female becomes
your supervisor, wondering if a well dressed black person is into crime,
avoiding sitting next to an old or a fat person, feeling reluctant to work with a
homosexual, etc. Race, gender, age, attractiveness, education, wealth, ethnic
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