A study by members of the the School of Psychology of attitudes to minorities in Britain has been reported in the December 2018 issue of The Psychologist, the monthly publication of the British Psychological Society.
The study was commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and designed by Professor Dominic Abrams and Dr Hannah Swift of the School of Psychology’s Centre for the Study of Group Processes and Professor Diane Houston of Birkbeck, University of London.
The first national study of prejudice in Britain for over a decade, it reveals that entrenched prejudices still exist despite 74 per cent of those surveyed agreeing with the principle of equal treatment for all groups. Forty-two per cent of respondents reported having experienced prejudice in the last year, with the figure rising to 70 per cent for Muslims, 64 per cent for people from a black ethnic background and 61 per cent for people with a mental health condition. Thirty-seven per cent of respondents felt that attempts to give equal opportunities to immigrants had ‘gone too far’.
Professor Abrams commented: ‘How we deal with ingrained prejudices in the rest of the population requires, I think, a combination of law, changes in norms and changes in what’s regarded as acceptable practice. But, clearly, as a society we have to monitor levels of prejudice, be aware of its different causes and alert to different types of events and situations which might be generating hatred between groups.’