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Explain the formation of stereotypes and their behaviours

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Explain the formation of Stereotypes and their effects on behaviour. The term stereotyping is defined as the social perception from an individual, by observing another individual's physical attributes, or observing a group membership of an individual and from the beliefs that associates with the group of people with certain traits all together. Stereotyping can be considered as well, as the generalization of attributions made about a group or to its group members, as well this can either be positive or negative generalization. The main explanation of stereotypes lies in the behaviours of socio- cultural groups and/or individuals' factors, where they determine a certain 'image' of a particular group. Studies have been carried out to explain formations of stereotypes. This includes categorizing individuals, otherwise known as "social categorization", illusionary correlation (Hamilton and Gifford 1976), social identity theory and in-groups and out-groups (Tajfel). The studies that have been carried out for investigating into the behaviours are the self- selfish prophecy & beliefs of stereotypes traits. There are many theories to explain what are stereotypes; however, these are examples that I will use to support my explanation of the formation of stereotypes and their effects on behaviours. Social identity theory (Tajfel) shows and assumes of an individual improving their self- esteem, by boosting their self- image, such as their personal identity or social identities, meaning individuals can strive to aim their personal achievements by themselves or through positive successful teamwork in a group. ...read more.


This lead to social comparison where the advantages of belonging in an ingroup against the outgroup can deeply influence our self-esteem. After a winning football match, college supporters tended to wear their own college logo clothings, unlike after a defeated match. Cialdini et al (1976) showed that positive self- concept is needed, as this resulted in a positive bias group comparisons, where participants where founded to have a more positive attitude towards their own group representation. According to Tajfel (1978), this was the "establishment of positive distinctiveness", where the ingroup's behaviours were similar of a positive attitude. From winning successes, this can attribute to ingroup members of their strong similar personality and actions traits, which 'defines' them of who they are as a group (group idenities) & of what kind of traits that an individual can believe in easily to categorize them of what kind of stereotype group they are. Further researches show illusionary correlation, where false assumptions are made between membership of a social group and specific behaviours. This phenomenon causes people to overestimate the link between two variables, such as "women" and "the ability to do well in academic studies", where it's believed that "women can't do well in difficult academic studies". ...read more.


When subjects were given applicant's descriptions (from law school applications), one group (group A) was informed that one impressive applicant was black, where the other group (group B) was informed that an impressive applicant was white. Results showed that participant's in group A judged the black applicant much more positively than compared to the white, where the black applicant seemed to be more impressive and exceptional. When told the opposite, that is, a poor black applicant, subjects was more likely to be negative, and judged in a much more negative manner and unimpressive. Another similar study is with female applicants judged by men. Results from this study (Linville and Jones 1980) emphasises people's expectations and their capability of imaging behaviour and traits, when told a certain 'belief'. This is linked to social categorization, where the individual believes in traits being told from friends, or simply by observing and learning from medias, and therefore categorizing themselves easily, thinking they are 'fitted' into this particular group by matching with these certain traits. This is perhaps of how ethic stereotyping is worked by the individual as well, leading to racial (and sexual) discrimination acts. In conclusion stereotypes are formed by social categorization, leading to social identity theory, whereas their effects of behaviours are affected by believing certain traits (illusionary correlation) and self- fulfilling shows us how we can percept traits to influence our behaviour. ...read more.

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