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Stereotypes: An Interview Essay

Uploaded by kyra666 on Mar 06, 2002

The other day I had a discussion with my roommate about the social psychological idea of stereotyping. I found it interesting how much I felt like she was contradicting herself. But in my opinion, I do not find it surprising that she did, because I feel like most people at the point in our lives (college students) do try and not prejudge people, but do anyway.

When I asked how guilty she felt she was about stereotyping people, she said it depends on what she’s stereotyping, but she does not feel like she does it too much. She also said she does not feel like she belongs in a particular social group and she also feels like there are exceptions in some stereotypical groups. For example, if there were a group of black guys standing on the street, some people would automatically assume that they were up to no good. But my roommate feels like if she saw this group with one of the guys dressed nicely, she could point him out as one exception – the one who would probably not be doing any harm. When I asked if she treats people differently right away because of how she has prejudged them, she answered that she does not treat them differently and that she tries not to prejudge at all. However, she does pick out a stereotypical group for a stranger before she meets them, a lot of times, and they do normally end up being what she expects. This proves the theory of the self- fulfilling prophecy to be correct.

Whereas some people still tend to put some people they do know as well as strangers into stereotypical groups, my roommate does not. She said once she gets to know someone, on the acquaintance level, she does not stereotype them as much and does not really feel that they belong to a certain groups such as the “preps” or the “jocks.” And she also feels that getting to know the person does have an effect on how she feels because “the more I get to know them, the less I stereotype them.” When I asked if she thought any groups should have a higher self esteem because of what group they seem to be placed with (i.e. “snobs” or “nerds”), she said no, as long as each person is doing everything they can do to keep their lives running...

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Uploaded by:   kyra666

Date:   03/06/2002

Category:   Psychology

Length:   3 pages (608 words)

Views:   2304

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