The human mind has a tendency to categorize people into social groups. And often these social groups can create an “Us vs. Them” mentality toward people who may be different than us in some way, whether it’s race, gender, age, nationality, culture, religion, or socioeconomic status.
In the early 1970s, British social psychologist Henri Tajfel explored a phenomenon he called the minimal group paradigm. The basic idea behind this concept was to investigate the minimal conditions required for discrimination to occur within groups.
Amazingly, studies on this approach have shown that people tend to favor a group bias even when they are categorized on relatively meaningless distinctions, for example: eye color, what kind of paintings they like, or even the flip of a coin.
This tells us that we can potentially separate ourselves from a certain group of people on any random and arbitrary characteristic. Therefore, everyone is susceptible to be a perpetrator and/or victims of social prejudice and ostracism.
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