I found an interview from when “Scientific American, spoke with Steven Neuberg, a professor of psychology at Arizona State University in Tempe, about the psychology of anti-immigrant prejudice.” I felt that with my past two blogs being about my friend from Romania living in the states since she was young, it would be good do understand where prejudice against foreigners comes from. This interview does a great job explaining some of the psychological reasons.
We have learned that prejudice is defined “negative feelings towards a particular group and its members.” These feelings can be expressed by disgust, anger, or even fear. It seems like all our live we learn to depend on our group we belong to for support and guidance. When were little we realize that there are differences in people. It is interesting to think, is this something that were born with knowing or do we learn this from our parents? I think it is more something we pick up from our parents and the environment around us. The interview talked about people being prejudice against foreigners because they are different from us. We feel they are a threat and “believe they may be more interested in taking our resources, more likely to cheat us in exchanges, to violate our norms and values, to take more than their fair share.” I think this is true for a lot of situations of prejudice. As a part of human nature when we feel threaten we have this response to attack. But I also find it funny that we are so worried about foreigners taking our resources but yet we send jobs overseas for other countries to do because we don’t want to do them here. It doesn’t make much sense.
The interview states that “Prejudice against new immigrant groups is a natural aspect of our psychology.” This is true but it can be a problem when violence comes into play. For the most part foreign groups have been going here and eventually they adapt and blend in with the rest of us. When this happens we no longer feel a threat from them. I also agree that we will never be able to eliminate prejudice from turning violence. I think over the years it may be able to decrease but some people will always be set in their ways of thinking.
Link to interview: