The Psychology of Stereotyping

By David J. Schneider | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER 9
The Development of Stereotypes

SOURCES OF OUR STEREOTYPES

There has been surprisingly little empirical work on the origins of our stereotypes. In part, that is because these seem so obvious. After all, stereotypes are a salient part of our culture. We see them exemplified on television and in the movies, and sometimes parents, teachers, and other socialization agents deliberately or inadvertently preach them under the guise of conveying the wisdom of age. They are part of the cultural air that we breathe.


The Two Approaches

Indeed, it has seemed so obvious that stereotypes are bound up with culture that many of the classic studies in this area (e.g., Katz & Braly, 1933) explicitly assumed not only that stereotypes are products of cultures, but that generalizations about groups of people can be stereotypes only if they are widely held. These two assumptions feed off one another. If stereotypes are a part of the general culture, it would be a bit strange if they were not generally believed. Cultural beliefs and values are, almost by definition, widely accepted. At the same time, if a large number of people hold the same beliefs, the easiest (but not, as we shall see, the only) explanation is that they have been subjected to the same cultural tuition.


Social Cognition

The more modern approach has been to forgo assumptions about the cultural heritage of stereotypes and to focus instead on how stereotypes affect how we process information about others. For much of the research discussed in this book, it matters little whether the stereotype being examined is held only by the subjects in the experiments or by nearly everyone. If I believe that violent career criminals are actually compassionate and caring people, then this will affect the ways I perceive, interpret,

-323-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Psychology of Stereotyping
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 708

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?