Allport's Scale

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Allport's Scale is a measure of the manifestation of prejudice in a society. It is also referred to as Allport's Scale of Prejudice and Discrimination or Allport's Scale of Prejudice. It was devised by psychologist Gordon Allport in 1954.[1][2]

The scale[edit]

Allport's Scale of Prejudice goes from 1 to 5.

1. Antilocution: Antilocution means a majority group freely make jokes about a minority group. Speech is in terms of negative stereotypes and negative images.[2] This is also called hate speech.[3] It is commonly seen as harmless by the majority. Antilocution itself may not be harmful, but it sets the stage for more severe outlets for prejudice (see also ethnic joke).

2. Avoidance: Members of the majority group actively avoid people in a minority group.[2] No direct harm may be intended, but harm is done through isolation (see also social exclusion).

3. Discrimination: Minority groups are discriminated against by denying them opportunities and services, putting prejudice into action.[2] Behaviors have the specific goal of harming the minority group by preventing them from achieving goals, getting education or jobs, etc. The majority group is actively trying to harm the minority. Examples are Jim Crow laws, Apartheid.

4. Physical Attack: The majority group vandalize, burn or destroy minority group property and carry out violent attacks on individuals or groups.[2] Physical harm is done to members of the minority group. Examples are lynchings of blacks, pogroms against Jews in Europe and British Loyalists in the 1700s.

5. Extermination: The majority group seeks extermination or removal of the minority group.[2] They attempt to eliminate either the entire or a large fraction of a group of people (e.g., Indian Wars to remove Native Americans, the Final Solution to the "Jewish Question" in Nazi Germany, the Rwandan Genocide, and ethnic cleansing in the Bosnian War).

This scale should not be confused with the Religious Orientation Scale of Allport and Ross (1967), which is a measure of the maturity of an individual's religious conviction.


  1. ^ Allport,Gordon (1954). The Nature of Prejudice. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-00179-9. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Watson, Peter (2007). Psychology and Race. Transaction Publishers. pp. 45–46. ISBN 0-202-30929-0. 
  3. ^ Mullen,, B.; Leader, T. (2005). "Linguistic factors: Antilocution, ethnophaulisms, ethnonyms, and other varieties of hate speech.". In Dovidio, J.F., ed. On the Nature of Prejudice: Fifty Years After Allport. Wiley/Blackwell. pp. 192–208. ISBN 978-1-4051-2751-6. 

See also[edit]