Hello. My name is Wi Kiat and I’ll be talking about stereotypes today. So what exactly are stereotypes? Stereotypes are generalizations or assumptions that people make about a group of people, based on an image about what people in that group are really like. For example, what comes to mind when you think of Asians? Well for most people they think of squinty-eyed people who are shrewd, reserved and are academically excellent but this assumption is not always true not all Asians act according to those traits.
Therefor, if you assume you know what a person is like and don’t look at each person as an individual, you are likely to make errors in your estimate’s of a person’s character. Why and how were stereotype introduced in the first place? Social phycology assumes there are three main reasons. Firstly, its cognitively efficient, once you have categorized someone into a specific category, you do not need to consider information about a certain individual. You can apply all of the group’s information to all of its members. This form of categorization saves us brain-processing time.
Plus, it satisfies the need to understand and predict the social world around us. There is no longer a need to wonder what individuals are like or what they are likely to do; all of it is contained in the stereotype. Lastly, it’s a way to feel better about oneself as we tend to think that one group is better than another. So what exactly are examples are stereotypes? Some famous examples includes blondes are dumb, are always horny or have an icy personality or that Americans are fat, lazy and downright irresponsible.
Over the years many stereotypes have taken form for various races and cultures but are we taking these stereotypes for granted? Are there implications that we cannot foresee? A leading researcher from the University of Toronto Scarborough has said “past studies have shown that people perform poorly in situation where they feel they are being stereotyped” Also, the same research has found that people are more likely to become aggressive after being stereotyped.
They are also more likely to exhibit a lack of self-control and making good, rational decisions. Also, some stereotypes cause us to view people as more competent than others. We expect more from people of high status groups. A very good example would be right here in Nexus we the scholarship students are viewed as people who would constantly get A*s, didn’t have to study for tests and would still ace them and have a well rounded social, academic and sports lifestyle which in turn creates unwanted social pressure for these students.
Negative stereotyping also wields a lingering impact on those who experience it, and in situations unrelated to the initial insult Due to all of this, I feel that stereotypes should be abolished. They encourage discrimination, bullying and racism, as each individual is unique and cannot fit into a cookie cutter shape that is a stereotype. Therefor, as a society we need to break the chains of stereotypes to achieve one of our most coveted goals, to achieve global harmony and collaboration and ensure a better, brighter future for all of us.