Deutsch: Diskriminierung / Español: Discriminación / Português: Discriminação / Français: Discrimination / Italiano: Discriminazione /

Discrimination refers to unjustified negative or harmful action toward a member of a group, simply because of his or her membership in that group. With other words: Discrimination describes behaviors which lead to groups or individuals being treated differently due to racial, ethnic, religious, gender, or social class factors. It is an unjustifiable negative behavior toward a group or its members. When discrimination is done in a way that disadvantages individuals because of birth or condition, it is unlawful.


Discrimination in the psychology context refers to the unjust or prejudiced treatment of individuals based on certain characteristics such as race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. It involves making distinctions or distinctions between people that result in unequal treatment, whether consciously or unconsciously. Discrimination can manifest in various forms, including overt acts of bias, subtle microaggressions, systemic inequalities, and institutional policies that disadvantage certain groups. It can have detrimental effects on the mental health and well-being of individuals who are targeted, leading to feelings of alienation, low self-esteem, and emotional distress. Understanding the psychological mechanisms underlying discrimination is crucial in addressing and combatting this pervasive issue in society.

Application Areas

  • Employment discrimination
  • Education system bias
  • Healthcare disparities
  • Legal system inequities
  • Media representation

Treatment and Risks

  • Psychotherapy to address trauma and self-esteem issues
  • Education and awareness campaigns to combat stereotypes and biases
  • Legal advocacy and policy changes to protect against discrimination
  • Risks include the perpetuation of stereotypes, intergroup conflict, and societal divisions


  • Racial profiling by law enforcement
  • Gender discrimination in the workplace
  • Ageism in healthcare settings
  • Homophobia in social interactions
  • Disability discrimination in public accommodations

Similar Concepts and Synonyms

  • Prejudice
  • Bias
  • Inequality
  • Bigotry
  • Oppression


  • 'Discrimination' in the glossary of the

Articles with 'Discrimination' in the title

  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act: Age Discrimination in Employment Act: Age Discrimination in Employment Act refers to a federal law that, with its amendments, forbids discrimination against an individual who is over the age of 40
  • Auditory Discrimination: Auditory Discrimination refers to the difficulty in perceiving differences between speech sounds and sequencing these sounds into meaningful words, which affects Reading and spoken language
  • Figure-ground discrimination: Figure-ground discrimination refers to the ability to sort out important information from the surrounding environment. For example, hearing a teacher's voice while ignoring other classroom noises (air conditioners, heaters, etc.) or seeing . . .
  • Gender discrimination: Gender discrimination means denying a job to someone solely on the basis of whether the person is a man or a woman. Gender discrimination refers to the unfair treatment of individuals based on their gender or gender identity
  • Landmark discrimination problem: Landmark discrimination problem refers to the behavioral task used in Ungerleider and Mishkin’s experiment in which they provided evidence for the dorsal, or where, visual processing stream
  • Object discrimination problem: Object discrimination problem refers to the behavioral task used in Ungerleider and Mishkin’s experiment in which they provided evidence for the ventral, or what, visual processing stream
  • Operant stimulus discrimination: Operant stimulus discrimination : Operant stimulus discrimination refers to the tendency to make an operant response when stimuli previously associated with reward are present and to withhold the response when stimuli associated with non- . . .
  • Personal-group discrimination discrepancy: Personal-group discrimination discrepancy is the tendency for people to report that they as individuals have experienced less negative treatment based on their group membership than the average member of their group


Discrimination in the psychology context refers to the unjust treatment of individuals based on various characteristics, leading to unequal outcomes and negative effects on mental health. It can manifest in overt and subtle forms, affecting different aspects of society such as employment, education, healthcare, and the legal system. Addressing discrimination requires a multi-faceted approach that includes therapy, education, advocacy, and policy changes to combat stereotypes and biases. Awareness of the risks associated with discrimination, such as perpetuating stereotypes and societal divisions, is crucial in promoting equality and inclusion.


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