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Understanding Stereotyping Essay

656 words - 3 pages

Understanding Stereotyping
Lativia Harris
Thomas University

According to textbook Understanding Human Sexuality, a stereotype is a generalization about a group of people (e.g., men) that distinguishes them from others (e.g., women). Stereotypes and biases affect our lives and assumptions can lead to stereotypes and unfair judgments about individuals and groups. As stated by Bos & Stapel, in the textbook Understanding Human Sexuality, (2009) indicated the following:
Social psychologists have uncovered two basic motives for stereotyping (whether gender stereotyping, racial stereotyping, or other kinds of stereotyping): comprehension goals and ...view middle of the document...

Part of understanding the problem of stereotyping involves understanding the underlying factors that may increase an individual’s likelihood of engaging in stereotyping. One factor that may contribute to activation of stereotyping is mood suggesting that positive mood may eliminate stereotyping has primarily focused on the impact of mood on categorization. Emotion researchers have found that negative emotion narrows an individual’s focus to a specific action. This function of negative emotion allows individuals to adapt to problematic environments. In this sense, negative emotion alerts people to problems in the environment that are in need of a solution, and the narrowing effect of negative emotion allows them to focus and solve the problem. People in negative mood states might demonstrate an increase in stereotyping if they attribute their negative state to a problem in the environment (e.g., another person) and categorize that individual as part of the problem.
In comparison to the negative mood research suggesting that positive mood may...

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