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Which stereotypes can lead to discrimination?

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Quick Answer

Stereotypes, such as the belief that certain people possess less intellectual capacities than others do or are otherwise inferior, may lead to discrimination. Stereotypes include positive and negative attributes, but only negative stereotypes generally lead to bias and discrimination. Discrimination ultimately results in treating individuals or groups unfairly based on perceived differences and inferiority.

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Which stereotypes can lead to discrimination?
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Full Answer

In addition to positive stereotypes, such as viewing people of certain races and ethnic groups superior in areas like athletics, musical ability and academics, neutral stereotypes do not necessarily lead to discrimination. Neutral stereotypes include perceived differences of other individuals, but do not carry a positive or negative connotation.

On the other hand, negative stereotypes, such as perceiving others of certain races or genders inherently less skilled or capable, often lead to discrimination. An example of discrimination based on stereotypes expresses in the belief that African-American children have a low level of intellectual capacity. Therefore, society invests less time and money educating those students than students of other races, such as Caucasians. Another example is an employer refusing to hire workers on the basis of religion, gender or ethnicity. Stereotypes may lead to discrimination as does prejudice, which is a negative view of certain groups, such as foreigners and the elderly.

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Related Questions

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    Do stereotypes affect people?

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    Stereotypes negatively affect the people that are being stereotyped. Experiencing the prejudice of a stereotype can cause aggression, lack of focus and a lack of self-control.

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    What causes stereotypes to be formed?

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    Humans tend to develop widespread, sweeping beliefs and opinions, known as stereotypes, out of a need to organize thoughts by structuring and grouping ideas in a manner that allows them to understand where they are in relation to others. While many people feel that stereotyping based on age, race, religion, sexual orientation and other identifiers helps them to make accurate judgements more quickly and efficiently, stereotypes can become outdated and lead to inaccurate assessments.

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    Where do stereotypes come from?

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    Assumptions and stereotypes about groups of people are automatically formed in the conscious mind and transferred to the unconscious mind, and these stereotypes are largely influenced by the surrounding culture, according to an article in Psychology Today. The brain uses stereotypes to create shortcuts for itself to explain why things may be a certain way, and many people do not realize that their brains are making these assumptions subconsciously.

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    What are some examples of stereotypes of elderly people?

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    Some stereotypes of elderly people are positive, such as the idea that wisdom comes with age and that an elderly person's wide range of experience results in intelligence and good sense; other stereotypes of elderly people are negative, such as the idea that elderly people are stuck in another time and baffled by and out of touch with contemporary society. In some cases, these stereotypes represent a fundamental truth about an elderly person, but age does not lead to a single experience and not all elderly people are out of touch with society. Other stereotypes of elderly people include the idea that people reach a certain age where they stop being useful in society and the idea that old people are stubborn and unwilling to try new things.

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