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Stereotypes and Prejudice

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Stereotypes and Prejudice

Stereotypes and Prejudice

Stereotypes and Prejudice

Stereotypes and Prejudice

Stereotypes and Prejudice

Cognitive schemas can result in stereotypes and contribute to prejudice.

Stereotypes

Stereotypes are beliefs about people based on their membership in a particular group. Stereotypes can be positive, negative, or neutral. Stereotypes based on gender, ethnicity, or occupation are common in many societies.

Examples: People may stereotype women as nurturing or used car salespeople as dishonest.

The Stability of Stereotypes

Stereotypes are not easily changed, for the following reasons:

  • When people encounter instances that disconfirm their stereotypes of a particular group, they tend to assume that those instances are atypical subtypes of the group.

Example: Ben stereotypes gay men as being unathletic. When he meets Al, an athletic gay man, he assumes that Al is not a typical representative of gay people.

  • People’s perceptions are influenced by their expectations.

Example: Liz has a stereotype of elderly people as mentally unstable. When she sees an elderly woman sitting on a park bench alone, talking out loud, she thinks that the woman is talking to herself because she is unstable. Liz fails to notice that the woman is actually talking on a cell phone.