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Subtle Prejudice Activity

Participants will explore how subtle beliefs and behaviors can affect social interactions in everyday life. This activity is meant to evoke thought and reflection about situations where race, gender, sexuality, disability, weight, and age can affect interactions. Students can think about whether their stereotypes and attitudes influence their own and others' behavior. There is a version of the activity for college students, a version for the workplace, and a version for middle school students modified by Jaime Linn Brown (see Materials).


This activity is designed to create awareness of subtle prejudice related to everyday situations and interactions.There are versions for middle school students, college students, and the workplace.

Estimated Time

20-30 minutes, including instructor-facilitated discussion

Group Size

This activity works best with a group size of 30 or fewer, but it could be modified for a larger group by having the instructor/facilitator rotate among the groups while they discuss the topic or by having assistants facilitate discussion in smaller groups.


Each participant receives a questionnaire and rates each situation from 1 = very comfortable to 5 = very uncomfortable.  Each participant should then sum all the points per section and record the score for each section on the worksheet.  After people review their scores, they answer the review questions individually; a group discussion based on the review questions follows.  People might find some of the questions do not apply to them; if so, they can write “N/A” and adjust their total score. Note that there are three versions of the worksheets: One for middle school students, modified by Jaime Brown, one for college students, and one for people in a work setting.