• What are stereotypes? The working definition: A stereotype is a positive or negative set of beliefs held by an individual about the characteristics of a group of people. It varies in its accuracy, the extent to which it captures the degree to which the stereotyped group members possess these traits, and the extent to which the set of beliefs is shared by others. .
• Stereotypes include or are formed by the suspicions, or expectancies we have about others, and these in turn shape what we perceive and influence our behavior toward a person.
• Jussim, McCauley and Lee (1995) propose that stereotypes may be conceived along two independent dimensions; accuracy (accurate vs. inaccurate) and valence (positive vs. negative). They suggest that negative stereotypes can be accurate (blacks are poorer than whites), positive stereotypes can be inaccurate (beautiful people are not better) and they can be accurate (people who make more money do tend to have higher IQs). Also, Jussim, McCauley, and Lee (1995) list the many problems stereotyping can cause in social perception and judgment :.
- Stereotypes are factually incorrect.
- Stereotypes are illogical in origin.
- Stereotypes are based on prejudice.
- Those who hold stereotypes are irrationally resistant to new information.
- Stereotypes exaggerate group differences.
- Stereotypes are ethnocentric.
- Stereotypes imply genetic origins of group differences.
- Stereotypes underestimate out-group variability.
- Stereotypes lead people to ignore individual differences.
- Stereotypes lead to biased perceptions of individuals.
- Stereotypes create self-fulfilling prophecies. .
Stereotypes as Individual or Consensus Beliefs - .
Ashmore and Del Boca (1981) describe three approaches to studying and understanding stereotypes:.
• Cognitive approach - Stereotype simply viewed as a cognitive representation of social information about people and groups of people.