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Stereotype and Prejudiced Thinking - Essay Example

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The writer of the essay states that This essay is written to determine how stereotypes contribute to prejudiced thinking. The discourse would initially define both terms to assist in answering the question…
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Stereotype and Prejudiced Thinking
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In addition, this essay would likewise proffer the rationale for my personal conviction as to whether positive stereotypes are as harmful as negative stereotypes.

Definition of Terms
On the other hand, prejudiced thinking is defined by Stangor ( 2000, 22) as “thinking ill of others without enough warrant”. Ferguson (2004) averred that prejudice is an “attitude toward the members of some group based solely on their membership in that group (can be positive or negative).”
How stereotypes contribute to prejudiced thinking.

Stereotypes are therefore generalized and confined according to distinct characteristics of persons or members of certain groups. As such, stereotyping distorts perceptions of people since once these traits are activated; those are the ones that come immediately to one’s mind – without a justified warrant. As averred by Ferguson (2004) “prejudice often involves stereotypes, suggesting that all members of a group behave in certain ways and have certain characteristics.”

Positive versus Negative Stereotypes
I believe that stereotyping, whether positive or negative are both harmful in such as way that they become “self-confirming” (Ferguson, 2004), confining and distorting; and affect social judgments we have of others. As such, even positive stereotypes could have true characteristics not revealed to those who generalized them. Therefore, whatever relationships or interactions one has would be distorted due to stereotyping, eventually leading to prejudice (even positive or negative). The ability to stereotype to give illusionary impacts makes them harmful despite their positive characteristics. Read More
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