Blonde. What comes to your mind? Naturally, some one who is pretty, dumb, bimbotic, and well, like this:

We stereotype people base on how we assume people might be from their appearance. Just take the blondes for an example again. Not all blondes are dumb but the vast majority or should I say those that are expose to us, are dumb. And thus, when one meets a blonde, she’s dumb.

People from stereotyped groups can find this very disturbing as they experience an apprehension (stereotype threat) of being treated unfairly.

We change our stereotypes infrequently. Even in the face of disconfirming evidence, we often cling to our obviously-wrong beliefs. When we do change the stereotypes, we do so in one of three ways:

  • Bookkeeping model: As we learn new contradictory information, we incrementally adjust the stereotype to adapt to the new information. We usually need quite a lot of repeated information for each incremental change. Individual evidence is taken as the exception that proves the rule.
  • Conversion model: We throw away the old stereotype and start again. This is often used when there is significant disconfirming evidence.
  • Subtyping model: We create a new stereotype that is a sub-classification of the existing stereotype, particularly when we can draw a boundary around the sub-class. Thus if we have a stereotype for Americans, a visit to New York may result in us having a ‘New Yorkers are different’ sub-type.

We often store stereotypes in two parts. First there is the generalized descriptions and attributes. To this we may add exemplars to prove the case, such as ‘the policeman next door’. We may also store them hierarchically, such as ‘black people’, ‘Africans’, ‘Ugandans’, ‘Ugandan military’, etc., with each lower order inheriting the characteristics of the higher order, with additional characteristics added.

Stereotyping can go around in circles. Men stereotype women and women stereotype men. In certain societies this is intensified as the stereotyping of women pushes them together more and they create men as more of an out-group. The same thing happens with different racial groups, such as ‘white/black’ (an artificial system of opposites, which in origin seems to be more like ‘European/non-European’).

Stereotyping can be subconscious, where it subtly biases our decisions and actions, even in people who consciously do not want to be biased.

Stereotyping often happens not so much because of aggressive or unkind thoughts. It is more often a simplification to speed conversation on what is not considered to be an important topic.


14 responses to “Stereotyping

  1. To me, stereotyping is a bad habit. And I don’t think that as mention, all blondes are dumb. People should learn to be less shallow and look things from within.

  2. hi, im back. i would like to say that yes, people should stop the habit of making an assumption on a whole majority base on a mere single thing. for example, people think all indians are roti prata seller or bungla as cleaners of singapore. they cant be more wrong. stereotyping is definitely wrong, as what wen say, people should stop being shallow.

    • Indians? what you said is so true. Take a look at SIM UB lecturers, most of them are Indians too. And the fact is they are smart and kinda well to do.

  3. hitsagaya toushirou

    exactly. sterotyping is a horrible thing. there is no such thing that everything within the same species is the same. they should not judge everything on 1 single thing. it is so wrong.

  4. kuchiki byakuya

    sterotyping is wrong, however, i do not think that people will change overnight. judging many by 1. is like saying classifying all, for example, races into same catergory. its like saying maybe all singapore are so and so or all japanese or so and so. it- is – WRONG.

  5. kuchiki byakuya

    the unfortunate thing is this type of thinking existed for centuries. like i say, it wont be change overnight

  6. Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.

  7. I totally dig the vid. It clearly shows a dumb blonde.
    And I have to agreee that “Not all blondes are dumb but the vast majority or should I say those that are expose to us, are dumb. And thus, when one meets a blonde, she’s dumb.” What we see, is what we differ.

  8. sterotyping is shallow. And because of sterotyping people always have a misconception of certain people.

  9. Stereotyping stems form a natural defence mechanism that helps us to avoid certain dangers. For example, “All snakes are poisonous” is a stereotype, bacause we all know that not all snakes are poisonous. Yet, when we see a snake, no matter what size, we tend to avoid it as though it were. Why? Because we don’t want to get too near and see if we are right, just in case we are. Forming stereotypes is a natural thing, but we have to identify which stereotypes are useful and which are harmful.

  10. How many great minds would have even thought of this logical conclusion the blond has ?
    Find this rather slim !
    the real problem to me , is that we have been putting every individual in a global and predefinate model of intelligence and mind. The reallity of nature is a huge variaty of sensivities and manners of aboading aspects of a problem, of reactions to adapt to situations.
    Only God knows who is right …. but I like to immagine we are all and together right !!

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