Language and prejudice: Direct and moderated effects
In the ever-increasing globalization of the world, there has been a parallel increase in the amount of contact between members of different social groups, and thus, more opportunities than ever before for discrimination based on prejudice. Though it is clear that prejudice and language are related, these constructs have traditionally been treated as separate and distinct in psychology. This study examines empirical evidence and confirms that language is inextricably linked with every form of prejudice; be it explicit expressions, implicit transmission of beliefs, or the subtle distortion of perception. It transmits prejudice, reveals prejudiced beliefs, distorts perception, and can be the basis of prejudice or a tool for change. This paper reinforces the idea that the study of language adds value beyond that of a purely social psychological approach to prejudice.