Psychology: Posts

July Authors of the Month: Mary Kite and Bernard Whitley

Mary Kite and Bernard Whitley, authors of The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination, are our Routledge Psychology Authors of the Month for July! Read our exclusive interview and learn more about their fantastic new edition!

"There is no better resource on the social psychology of prejudice for its comprehensiveness and accessibility. My copies of Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination are among the most worn books on my shelf."

-PJ Henry, Associate Professor of Psychology, NYU Abu Dhabi, UAE

Throughout our academic careers, we have had a keen interest in the study of stereotyping and prejudice. It seemed natural, then, that we should teach our department’s course on prejudice and discrimination. When we set out to do so for the first time, however, we ran into a surprise: Although there is vast literature on prejudice and discrimination, there were very few textbooks available, none of which struck the balance between empirical rigor and readability that we were looking for. Therefore, as so many before us have done, we decided to write the book that is now in its third edition.

Our goal in writing this book is to provide students with an overview of what psychological theory and research have to say about the nature, causes, and amelioration of prejudice and discrimination. We want them to understand that everyone has prejudices and biases, but that each of us decides how and when those biases influence our actions. We also want students to understand that societal attitudes have changed and will continue to do so and that they can be part of that positive social change.

Most people believe that they are unbiased – that they treat everyone fairly and as individuals, not as members of racial and other groups. It is difficult to accept that we are all subject to biased beliefs. Moreover, many people fail to recognize how their own social group is privileged and that, because of that privilege, they are (perhaps unknowingly) participating in the oppression of others. An understanding these factors is the first step toward ameliorating their effects.

We are updating our meta-analysis on gender differences in attitudes toward homosexuality; our past research on this topic showed that men consistently hold more negative attitudes toward homosexuals than do women and that this sex difference is largest when attitudes toward gay men are assessed. We are interested in whether changes toward greater acceptance of homosexuality has reduced the size of this sex difference.

We are also revising our textbook, Principles of Research in Behavioral Science, also published by Routledge; we will be joined by co-author Rebecca Pierce for this revision.

The Website focuses on pedagogical materials that can be used to address both cultural awareness and self-awareness of prejudice and to increase students’ multicultural competence. Specifically, the site includes a) original teaching activities (ready to use with minimal preparation, including discussion questions); b) assignments, with grading rubrics; c) annotated lists of podcasts, videos, and social justice songs (categorized by topic); d) original public service announcements; e) video diaries about people’s personal experience with prejudice; and f) interviews with social justice activists.

The Facebook page “AHA Advocates” focuses on current examples of prejudice and discrimination.

Mary Kite received her B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. from Purdue University. A social psychologist, she is currently Professor of Psychological Science at Ball State University.

Mary maintains an active research program in the area of stereotyping and prejudice, including co-authoring The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination (3e). She and Bernard Whitley, Jr. have also co-authored Principles of Research in Behavioral Science (3e).

Recognitions include the 2014 Charles L. Brewer Award for Distinguished Teaching in Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation (APA) and a 2011 Presidential Citation from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. Her website (, created with her students, was recognized with a Social Psychology Action Teaching Award (Honorable Mention, 2014) and by an Innovative Teaching Award (Honorable Mention 2014) by the Society for the Scientific Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). She is a Fellow of APA Divisions 2, 9, 35, and 44, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Midwestern Psychological Association.

Bernard Whitley received his B.S. in psychology from Loyola University (Chicago) and his Ph.D. in social and personality psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. He is Professor emeritus of Psychology at Ball State University and is a Fellow of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and the Midwestern Psychological Association. Although retired from teaching, he is still active in research and writing.

The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination, 3rd Edition

  • Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination

    3rd Edition

    By Mary E. Kite, Bernard E. Whitley, Jr.

    The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination provides a comprehensive and compelling overview of what psychological theory and research have to say about the nature, causes, and reduction of prejudice and discrimination. It balances a detailed discussion of theories and selected research with…

    Paperback – 2016-06-10

Principles of Research in Behavioral Science, 3rd Edition

  • Principles of Research in Behavioral Science

    Third Edition

    By Bernard E. Whitley, Jr., Mary E. Kite

    Intended for beginning graduate or advanced undergraduate students, this book provides a comprehensive review of research methods used in psychology and related disciplines. It covers topics that are often omitted in other texts including correlational and qualitative research and integrative…

    Hardback – 2012-10-25