Explain the formation of stereotypes and their effect on behavior
stereotypes form? Sociocultural learning, categorization, and schema processing
are a salient part of our social and cultural environment. We learn them
through daily interactions, conversations and through the media.
Stereotypes are, to some extent, based on individual experiences but cultural
and social factors also play a role, i.e. stereotypes are contextualized and not
simply the results of individual cognitive processing. Stereotypes can be shared
by large sociocultural groups as social representations.
common cognitive process involved in stereotyping is social categorization.
Categorization (and stereotyping) seems to be fundamental to human nature
and it helps to make the world more predictable. Once stereotypes are formed
they act as cognitive schemas in information processing.
are simplified mental images which act as templates to help interpret the
is, to a large extent, an automatic cognitive process (i.e. it occurs
without intention, effort, or awareness and is not expected to interfere
with other concurrent cognitive processes.
Study to use:
The Princeton Trilogy
What is the
effect of stereotypes on behavior?
are categorized into ingroups and outgroups. Once people are categorized as
belonging to one group rather than another they tend to emphasize
similarities to individuals in that group and exaggerate differences between
groups. Stereotypes of outgroups are often central to group identity.
to pay attention to stereotype-consistent information and disregard
stereotype-inconsistent information (confirmation bias).
stereotypes may be internalized by stereotyped groups (stereotype threat).
Study to use:
Darley and Gross (1983)