Subtle Prejudice Activity

This activity is designed to create awareness of subtle prejudice related to everyday situations and interactions.


This activity is designed to create awareness of 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 students and a version for the workplace (see Materials).

Estimated Time

20-30 minutes, including instructor-facilitated discussion

Group Size

This activity works best with a class size of 30 or fewer, but it could be modified for a larger class by having the instructor rotate among the groups while they discuss the topic or by having teaching 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 students review their scores, they answer the review questions individually; a group discussion based on the review questions follows.  Participants 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 two worksheets: One for students and one for people in a work setting.