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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].

The scale

Allport’s Scale of Prejudice goes from 1 – 5.

Scale 1, Antilocution

Antilocution means a majority group freely make jokes about a minority group. Speech is in terms of negative stereotypes and negative images. This is also called hate speech [2]. 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.

Scale 2 Avoidance

People in a minority group are actively avoided by members of the majority group. No direct harm may be intended, but harm is done through isolation.

Scale 3 Discrimination

Minority group is discriminated against by denying them opportunities and services and so putting prejudice into action. 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. (e.g. Jim Crow laws)

Scale 4 Physical Attack

The majority group vandalize, burn or destroy minority group property and carry out violent attacks on individuals or groups. 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.

Scale 5 Extermination

The majority group seeks extermination or removal of the minority group. They attempt to eliminate either the entire or a large fraction of a group of people (e.g., Indian Wars to remove Native Americans, American lynchings, Final Solution to the Jewish Question in Germany, The Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire, the Rwandan Genocide, and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia).


  1. ^ Allport,Gordon (1954). The Nature of Prejudice. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0201001799. 
  2. ^ 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 978-1405127516. 

See also



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