Explain the effects of stereotypes on behavior

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SAQ: Explain the effects of stereotypes on behavior.

        The process of sterotyping is a cognitive process humans undergo by categorizing others around them either for something very superficial such as looks and image or based on their social group. Once a set of characteristics is assigned as a description for a specific group, then these characteristis are most often attributed to all members belonging to that group.

        Stereotypes used on people can have large effects on their behavior, making them think differently because of these attributions made towards them. The effects of stereotypes on behavior are many and consist of different aspects.

The first effect on behavior is prejudice, followed by discrimination, an attitude and a behavior respectively which encourage this cognitive process called stereotyping.

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        Next is the Self-Fulfilling prophecy, associated to the «Pygmalion Effect». This explains the change in one’s behavior influenced by beliefs from important others. Furthermore, an important effect of stereotyping on the behavior of individuals is the «Confirmation Bias». It is defined as the process of noting all the examples that match our assumptions and disregarding examples refuting our beliefs. The confirmation bias is extremely impervious to modifications, since this process comes automatically to us. It makes stereotypical thinking resistant to change.

        An experiment supporting the Confirmation Bias was conducted by Snyder and Swann (1978). The experimenters used female college students ...

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