Social Stereotypes

Social stereotypes are also defined as beliefs that various traits or acts are characteristic of particular social groups.


In recent years, the study of social stereotypes and their role in prejudice and intergroup relations has been dominated by efforts to grasp the cognitive processes underlying stereotype activation and use. Several reviews of the cognitive approach to stereotyping indicate that cognitive processes and biases seem to confirm the persistence of stereotypes and their resistance to alteration (Hamilton, 1981; Hamilton & Trolier, 1986; Stephan, 1985, 1989).  Despite progress in understanding the operation of such processes, the exclusive emphasis on the cognitive approach to stereotypes is viewed by many as being too narrow to provide a whole understanding of stereotype activation and use.


The dissatisfaction with exclusively cognitive approaches to studying social stereotypes has been made explicit with the demand for theoretical and empirical work that addresses the interface between cognitive and affective processes in intergroup relations (Hamilton, 1981; Hamilton & Trolier, 1986; Pettigrew, 1981). It’s the interplay between cognitive and affective processes that is the main focus. For instance, one concern has been to look at how an effect is represented in stereotypes. Others are fascinated by determining how an effect that’s related to stereotyping activation influences judgments about members of a stereotyped group.


Interest in the interface between affect and stereotype activation and use derives from a special viewpoint. In our efforts to grasp the experiences of those who reject prejudice and have adopted a non-prejudiced ideology, we’ve been concerned primarily with the character of the effect generated by the person in response to his or her own (often inadvertent) use of stereotypes. That is, for non-prejudiced individuals, responding in stereotypic ways violates their non prejudiced values and thus gives rise to strong affective reactions. During this chapter, we develop and present evidence to support the argument that the self-generated effect that follows from violations of non-prejudiced values plays a crucial role in the future control and regulation of stereotype-based responses.


To delineate this role of effect in people’s prejudice reduction efforts, we review our theoretical and empirical efforts over the past several years. In brief, our research indicates that the primary step within the prejudice reduction process involves establishing and internalizing non-prejudiced standards and values. However, the first section of this chapter makes it clear, adopting non-prejudiced standards isn’t corresponding to overcoming prejudice. Although stereotype-based responses are viewed as inappropriate once unprejudiced values are established, such responses are extremely difficult to avoid. The second section of the chapter reviews research relevant to people’s experienced difficulties in trying to avoid stereotypical responses and their affective reactions to their failures to avoid such responses. within the third section, we offer the theoretical rationale for understanding why and the way effect plays a task in the prejudice reduction process. We also present recent empirical findings to support the contention that self-generated effects arising when people violate their non-prejudiced values facilitate people’s prejudice reduction efforts. within the final section, we integrate and synthesize our theoretical and empirical efforts by presenting a model of the bias reduction process that applies to the struggles people face once they need to define prejudice as personally unacceptable. This model highlights why the joint consideration of cognitive and affective factors is vital for understanding processes underlying prejudice reduction.



Examples of Social Stereotypes


Whether it’s the jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, or goths in your school or the individualist at work, people sometimes make assumptions about different social groups supported by their characteristics, economic class, age, skills, etc. While these are often positive, there are many negative stereotypes about various social groups.


X variety of person is best at something than Y variety of person just because they belong to this group.

X group is unfriendly and prudish.

X people aren’t attractive because they’re a part of a particular group.

X sorts of people are weird.

People from the X people are less educated than people from the Y class.

People from X class are all arrogant and lord it over.

People in the X group aren’t as capable as people from the Y group.

People from the X group are shallow and selfish.

People from the X group are less intelligent than the Y group.


Ways to beat Stereotypes and Prejudices :


1) Assess your own biases.

2)Keep yourself accountable.

3)Step 3. Recognize the negative 4)effects of prejudice.

5)Avoid justifying stereotypes when 6)interacting with others.

7)Be open and accept yourself.

8)Get family support.

9)Reduce self-stigma.

10)Be around people you admire.


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