Ever had a prenotion about something or someone before you actually get to know that person or thing? Well, if you have, you are already in the puddle.
“Stereotyping” refers to a fixed set of characteristics or images that a person believes in, about a particular person, community or object. For instance, stereotypes about a teacher are- they always wear spectacles, they can always be seen with books in their hands, they specialize in a particular subject and many more.
Similarly, there may be several stereotypes floating in people’s mind. Some of you may not even agree to stereotype but, this mental process takes place so quickly that you hardly even realize acknowledging it, thus making it an automatic process.
Yes, we all categorize to make sense of the surroundings around us but “stereotypes are categories that go way too far” says John Bargh, Ph.D., of New York University.
Stereotyping and attitude development go hand in hand. When practiced on a regular basis, these attitudes can strengthen and become consistent over a period of time.
Stereotyping is still just a mental phenomenon, however, what makes it really complicated is its behavioral manifestation Discrimination. Negative stereotypes especially can have a profound impact on the human interactions and socialization.
Being a human, a person from a specific community, nationality, race, religion, caste, gender and profession, would you like being categorized and judged negatively by people? Well, if NO, then why would you reciprocate the same to other groups, people or objects?
Can you really break away from this process?
Well, studies show that an engagement in the negation process, that is, saying a firm “NO” repeatedly can help one in moving out of this mental phenomena.
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