What is the Allport’s Scale for Measuring Attitude?

The Allport’s Scale for Measuring Attitude is a widely used tool in psychology for assessing the attitudes of individuals towards a particular concept or topic. Developed by psychologist Gordon Allport in the 1930s, the scale is based on the premise that attitudes can vary in intensity and can be measured through a series of statements or questions. This scale has been used in various fields of study, including social psychology, marketing, and politics, to understand and predict behavior. In this article, we will explore the origins, components, and applications of the Allport’s Scale for Measuring Attitude.

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 .


The scale

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

  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 . 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. (e.g.Ethnic jokes)
  2. Avoidance: Members of the majority group actively avoid people in a minority group. No direct harm may be intended, but harm is done through isolation. (e.g. Social exclusion)
  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, Apartheid)
  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.
  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 Rwandan Genocide, and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia).

This scale should not be confused with the Religious Orientation Scale of Allport and Ross (1967) which is a measure of the maturity of an individual’s religious conviction.

Scroll to Top