Shedding light on the prejudices of Hungarians by a campaign film – VIDEO
444.hu reported that according to previous studies, Hungary is one of the most prejudiced countries in Europe. Hungarians often judge and stigmatize people based on their appearance or on their presumed belonging to different social groups and because of these, they always keep some distance from these people.
Consequently, the Heroes Square Initiative took the matter into its hands with the attempt to ameliorate the situation. 3 weeks after the HeroiKon conference, it decided to start a new campaign film about prejudices that was finally produced by Young & Rubicam Group while the media work was carried out by the MEC media agency.
In the video, they ask the same question from everyday people of different age, gender and social background:
if they were ahead of a heart transplantation, would they opt for the Gypsy donor or the brown-eyed, fair-haired man from whom it is only later revealed that is homosexual.
From the answers of the participants, their prejudices towards the different groups of people are more or less revealed but after getting to know better them, they find themselves face-to-face with the harsh reality and their own unknown prejudices.
Here, you can find the video about the experiment. You can also click on the subtitles at the bottom.
The co-founder of the Heroes Square Initiation, professor Philip Zimbardo says,
prejudices are generally encoded in human beings.
Athough during evolution, communal spirit brings positive things into our lives and helps us to find our way in the world, it also exempts us from the intellectual and emotional work of getting to know better people who seem to be different from us. In fact, this is the mechanism that rests in obscurity but reveals how humans really work. Furthermore, these particular unconscious mechanisms lead eventually to our prejudices.
That is why it is of utmost importance to be aware of our preconceptions when it comes to thinking about ourselves or others. What we need is to question these sometimes automatic thoughts to eventually make our well-grounded decisions.
The Heroes Square Initiation also took part in the HeroiKon conference 3 weeks ago to raise its voice against prejudices. Apart from Zimbardo, other foreign and Hungarian people also expressed their views on this issue from scientific points of view or through the drama of their private life and they attempted to come up with some possible solution to get out of it. Among the performers was Sarah Mardini, the Syrian girl who pulled their boat full of refugees to the coast with her sibling, and the Arab and Jewish dad who lost his children in the Arab-Israeli war since which he preaches about peace and sympathy towards others.
The theoretical and practical training, offered by the Heroes Square Initiation addressing high school teachers, has been expanded with a modul on the cutback of prejudices. During the 1-day-long training, more than 1500 teachers have already participated coming from different parts of the country.
As they point out, in many cases, we are on the wrong track when we are directed by our own stereotypes.
The collaboration and involvement of the Young & Rubicam and the MEC groups was important to mediate this message and fortunately, their involvement in this issue was not questioned. László Aczél, the leader of the Young & Rubicam Group added that the inspiring work of the volunteers at the Heroes Square Initiation also motivated them to participate in order to pull down the stereotypes, barriers and negative preconceptions in people’s mind.
A very interesting fact is revealed in the research conducted by the Initiation: 8 out of 10 people (78%) believe that it is easier to be wrong about another person when they judge thoughtlessly. However, when it comes to 1st impressions, 4 out of 10 people (42%) believe that 1st impressions are infallible. Consequently, while we believe that judging thoughlessly is wrong, we actually do it. Nevertheless, a good news is that 74% of the participants hold that people are able to change and can develop in a progressive way.
Gábor Orosz, co-founder of the Heroes Square Initiation and researcher at ELTE Univerity, added that based on their results,
those people who believe in their ability to change, actually are capable of change
Photos: pixabay.com; commons.wikimedia.org