Stereotypes In Social Psychology Paper

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Aside from arising from mental shortcuts, it has also been proposed that stereotypes are a result of group conflict (Sherif, 1966). Regularly, individuals behave in a way that is expected of them in order to uphold the impressions others have of them. Thus, individuals act accordingly and embody the stereotype which is projected upon them (Baumeister & Bushman). The degree to which we rely on stereotypes when establishing judgements of others has been widely investigated in the field of social psychology. Frequently, the harmful consequences of relying on stereotypes is noted with the potential of this tendency to lead to prejudice and discrimination. Furthermore, the variation in the significance of stereotypes has been explored to determine…show more content…
Furthermore, these processes are potentially subject to bias due to “the assimilative effects of existing knowledge on information processing” (Macrae, Stangor & Hewstone, 1996). It is essential to comprehend these concepts before delving into the importance of stereotypes when forming impressions of others. In the initial stage of developing schemas, they allow the individual to ignore what is perceived to be unimportant or unnecessary details of a situation, thus reducing the complexity of the information (Macrae, Stangor & Hewstone, 1996). Indeed, schemas guide behaviour and allow a platform for individuals to make mental shortcuts and damaging stereotypes, they can also simplify life and are useful in every day situations (Macrae, Stangor & Hewstone, 1996). For example, if one had an existing stereotype that guns are dangerous and hastily decided to move to the other side of the street after noticing a man with a gun – this would be an extremely useful and possibly life-saving use of a stereotype. However, whether stereotypes are considered to be beneficial or unconstructive – they are undeniably important when forming impressions of other
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