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 occurs when an in-group freely purports negative images of an out-group.[2] Hate speech is included in this stage.[3] Although antilocution itself may not be harmful, it could set the stage for more severe outlets for prejudice (see also ethnic joke).
  2. Avoidance: Members of the in-group actively avoid people in the out-group.[2] No direct harm may be intended, but psychological harm often results through isolation (see also social exclusion).
  3. Discrimination: The out-group is discriminated against by denying them opportunities and services, putting prejudice into action.[2] Behaviors have the intention of disadvantaging the out-group by preventing them from achieving goals, getting education or jobs, etc. Examples include Jim Crow laws in the US, the Statute of Kilkenny in British Ireland, Apartheid in South Africa, and antisemitic laws in the Middle East.
  4. Physical Attack: The in-group vandalizes, burns, or otherwise destroys out-group property and carries out violent attacks on individuals or groups.[2] Physical harm is done to members of the out-group. Examples include pogroms against Jews in Europe, the lynchings of blacks and Italians in the US, and ongoing violence against Hindus in Pakistan.
  5. Extermination: The in-group seeks extermination or removal of the out-group.[2] They attempt to eliminate either the entirety or a large fraction of the undesired group of people. Examples include the Cambodian Genocide, the Final Solution in Nazi Germany, the Rwandan Genocide, the Armenian 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.

See also[edit]


  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. On the Nature of Prejudice: Fifty Years After Allport. Wiley/Blackwell. pp. 192–208. ISBN 978-1-4051-2751-6.