The Difference Between Prejudice & Discrimination

The Difference Between Prejudice & Discrimination

Merton’s Diagram

Prejudice is the prejudgment of a person based on irrational ideas or lack of experience. Discrimination is the act of denying groups of people or individuals participation or rights to benefits within society based upon prejudices. Prejudice and discrimination can be modeled to understand their relationship. Merton’s diagram identifies four types of people and shows how their types create intersections with prejudice and discrimination.


1. The All-Weather Liberal type does hold prejudice and does not discriminate. This type is not causal to discrimination.

2. The Fair-Weather Liberal type is not prejudiced but does discriminate. These are what is known as crowd pleasers. They are not prejudiced but they will discriminate based on the pressure from others.

3. The Timid Bigot type is prejudiced but won’t discriminate. These individuals do not act on prejudice either for fear of being caught or being punished. They are not causal to discrimination but they do nothing to reduce it either.

4. The Active Bigot type is both prejudiced and discriminates. These individuals tend to have a grand sense of self-entitlement and they do not respect norms and policies.


Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash


Triola Vincent. Fri, Feb 12, 2021. The Difference Between Prejudice & Discrimination Retrieved from

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