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Critically consider the roles played by stereotypes

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Critically consider the roles played by stereotype in how we perceive other people (24 mark) In this essay I am going to consider the roles played by stereotype in how we perceive other people. Stereotype are described as 'the as the little picture we carry around within our heads'. A definition of stereotype is a belief held by people about the characteristics of the members of a social group. For example all black people commit crime. People form stereotypes as it saves mental energy, as cognitive misers we aim to use the least possible energy to cut down the amount of cognitive effort involved in social perception. We use stereotypes to put people into categories once we have made a stereotype we tend to apply the characteristic to the whole social group. ...read more.


However when the white actor was seen shoving the black actor, the participant described his behaviour as playfulness. This shows that the participant had already formed stereotype of black people, that they are more prone to violence then white people. Allport (1958) developed the grain of truth hypothesis. He suggested that that stereotype might have originated by a single grain of truth. He argued that this is all blown out of proportion a grain of truth leading to a stereotype. However Campbell (1967) developed on Allport ideas. He suggested that a stereotype originated either from a person experience from other people experiences. For example he used the example of all German are humourless, this is probably because he has met a German person that is humourless or they know some who has meet a German person who is humourless. ...read more.


2/3 of the statement described desirable behaviour and 1/3 of the statements described undesirable behaviour. The participant was asked to recall desirable and desirable behaviour. The participant's in-group A over estimated the number of times members of group B behaved undesirably. Group Band undesirable behaviour were less frequent then members of group A and desirable behaviour. Therefore group B behaviour were seen as more distinctive. However the participant in both group showed the same proportion of undesirable behaviour therefore group B had less people showed there behaviour to be more distinctive therefore creating illusory correlation. In conclusion it show that stereotyping play a big role in how we perceive other people. We use stereotype to judge by people generalisation even though they might be really nice person once we first come into contact with them we think we already know what they are really like This is a bad thing because once these stereotypes has been formed it is hard to change what how we think, ...read more.

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