Stereotype and People

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Hello. My name is Wi Kiat and I’ll be talking about stereotypes today. So what exactly are stereotypes? Stereotypes are generalizations or assumptions that people make about a group of people, based on an image about what people in that group are really like. For example, what comes to mind when you think of Asians? Well for most people they think of squinty-eyed people who are shrewd, reserved and are academically excellent but this assumption is not always true not all Asians act according to those traits. Therefor, if you assume you know what a person is like and don’t look at each person as an individual, you are likely to make errors in your estimate’s of a person’s character.

Why and how were stereotype introduced in the first place? Social phycology assumes there are three main reasons. Firstly, its cognitively efficient, once you have categorized someone into a specific category, you do not need to consider information about a certain individual. You can apply all of the group’s information to all of its members. This form of categorization saves us brain-processing time. Plus, it satisfies the need to understand and predict the social world around us. There is no longer a need to wonder what individuals are like or what they are likely to do; all of it is contained in the stereotype. Lastly, it’s a way to feel better about oneself as we tend to think that one group is better than another.

So what exactly are examples are stereotypes? Some famous examples includes blondes are dumb, are always horny or have an icy personality or that Americans are fat, lazy and downright irresponsible. Over the years many stereotypes have taken form for various races and cultures but are we taking these stereotypes for granted? Are there implications that we cannot foresee? A leading researcher from the University of Toronto Scarborough has said “past studies have shown that people perform poorly in situation where they feel they are being stereotyped” Also, the same...
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