Are the psychological stereotypes correct?

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Are psychological stereotypes about a person(s) correct?

Yes, absolutely
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No, not at all
No votes
Sometimes, but not always
Correct about the vast majority of people, but not all people
Other (please explain)
No votes
Total votes: 5

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Are the psychological stereotypes correct?


Post by Gabrielman » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:08 am

This has bothered me for quite some time now, and I want to have a discussion on this. Are the stereotypes put forth by psychology correct? I don't think so, but there are some who would disagree, and I would like to know why, and I want them to back that with real proof. See for the longest time I have had the problem of being categorized as a certain just based on my age and gender. People take one look at a young male and say "liberal, perv, no good for nothing". They think that just because others that are the same age and gender as myself act a certain way that I must be that way too. Well not only are they wrong, but I have met a lot of people my age over the years who never fit the stereotypes. So what, do we not really exist then? See the issue I have is the sweeping generalization that people do. They take an anonymous poll of like 30 or so people, and then say the results apply to all people of that age group or gender. They never went around and asked all the people in the world, yet they can say we all act the same. That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard, and yet surprisingly it is well accepted by many "educated" people. I have my own ideas about psychology and would be more than happy to discuss them.
You may say, "so why do you care what they say?" Well that makes it hard on me. You see when someone is going to have a preconcived notion about you before getting to know you and then they think they know every thing about you, that can make life hard. Like when trying to get a job, or a date, ect., there are many ways such things will be annoying. people don't want to get to know people anymore, so they just go off of the assuptions, and that can be damaging to your future. I can't tell you how many times at work I have had people ask me if I "want to sleep with so and so", and when I say no they say "why, are you gay?" No, I just have morals and values and live by them. I won't look at a female wrong, and I won't sleep around either, but they feel the need to think that just cuause I am their age I am just like them. The same problem comes in when they talk about holly wood, they say "did you hear about how so and so did this!?" I will say "I don't even know who that is!" See, that can be annoying at times, to be lumped with people cause we are the same gender and age, that doesn't mean we are the same person. I use this example cause it affects me directly, but there are many more. The idea that all elder people are conservitve, the idea that people of a certian religion are all the same (just look at the differences in the board memebers and other christians, we are different folks). Feel free to add your own example if you would like.
This type of thinking, that we are all the same, even causes some to discredit me. Sure there is no way I can have knoledge of something or be interested in something, I am too young. They think "all you have on your mind is cars money and girls". Sorry all I have on my mind is God, trying to get medical treatment, and surviving.
So I ask you, now that I have disclosed this much, are they right, wrong, or what? What do you think, and why, explain your point. And please, can we try not to use a link in this thread, I don't open random links, no telling where they could lead.
God bless you all! Hope you all respond!
Once I was trapped in a perpetual night, without even a star to light the sky. Now I stand in the glory of the Son, and not even a faint shadow of darkness remains.

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Re: Are the psychological stereotypes correct?


Post by topic » Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:15 am

what you have highlighted is the prejudice that can affect the view of the stereotype. The question that needs to be validated; is the over all view of stereotypes in the positive or negative. I see both as relevent, but lean more to the positive aspects.

Stereotypes have several important functions:

•They allow people to quickly process new information about an event or person.
•They organize people's past experiences.
•They help people to meaningfully assess differences between individuals and groups.
•They help people to make predictions about other people's behavior

examples could be ---
1) a woman has to work late and finds herself walking home alone on a dark city street. Walking toward her is a group of young men talking loudly and roughhousing. The woman crosses the street and enters a milk bar (convenience store) until the young men pass, then continues on her way. Most people would say she acted prudently, even though she relied on a stereotype to guide her behavior.
2) emperical evidance in the country i live in, indicates that men between the ages of 18 - 25 die in more car accidents than those above 25yrs. Due to this road safety advertisment focus on this group, and insurance is hightened due to these findings.

the negative could be ---

Stereotypes can lead to distortions of reality for several reasons:

•They cause people to exaggerate differences among groups.
•They lead people to focus selectively on information that agrees with the stereotype and ignore information that disagrees with it.
•They tend to make people see other groups as overly homogenous, even though people can easily see that the groups they belong to are heterogeneous.
•When people encounter instances that disconfirm their stereotypes of a particular group, they tend to assume that those instances are atypical subtypes of the group

Your example that all men between 16yrs - 30yrs think of nothing more than sex, drugs and rock and roll, yet if one does not fall into this category they are then placed into another stereotypical group, or as stated above a subtype.

Evolutionary pyschologists believe that this idea of stereotyping lead to the tendancy for individuals to quickly assess who as a collective was friend or foe.Since the results show that survival was of stereoptypcasting, the process as been adopted by society.

I believe there is a place for stereotyping, but presumption needs to be validated for the individual.

We also have to look at the educational level of each individual, not necessarily academic but street awarness and how to communicate effectively. An easy example of this are children. As an adult trying to explain in detail how they should distinguish between a stranger who is trying to help them and one with evil intentions can be hard if not impossable. Stereotypecasting gives an easier alternative ---
i.e. 1) Never talk too or go into a car with a stranger,
2) if they try to grab you scream and yell as hard as you can,
3) If you are lost go to a police man in uniform they will help you.

I understand your frustration but i do believe the benefits out weigh the negative inclinations.


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Re: Are the psychological stereotypes correct?


Post by Ngakunui » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:22 pm

I can agree with Topic that there are a few good reasons to react according to people's behaviour. However, this doesn't mean whatever assumptions may come to mind are true: one of the biggest mistakes the large majority of people make is trusting someone too much. Unless you know someone personally, and know that person will not betray you for whatever reason- unless you want to be betrayed, which I doubt you do.

Still, the only real stereotype, and a loose one at that which I can think of is that persons who can become mainstream, accepted doctors of psychology generalize imaginary "groups" of persons into categories quite often.
Think of it like a lot of public schools now: if someone is good at the scientific process, they put them in a class that focuses more on mainstream science to keep them on the level of the majority and stop them from being different in their understanding. Psychologists, in their literature, categorize individuals into "groups" as to disable them from being outside a socially accepted mold in the minds of others. There's the exception of particularly distinct persons being "categorized" into groups synonymous with crazy people, but that's heading off into another direction.

Even so, you shouldn't care what the majority thinks so long as it isn't a threat to your well-being. People(by people, I mean what are commonly referred to here as "secular") will try to fit you into one of their stereotypes, and once they can't, it's not uncommon for them to fit you into one that's not like theirs.

For example, you said that your coworkers incorrectly considered you "gay" for not "sharing" their own type of perverted fantasies, yes? To me it seems they try to assert you're some sort of pervert like them. It seems to me that all they understand in society is unsophisticated behaviour of some sort, and they're trying to make you feel guilty for not indulging in it.
If you think it won't cost you your job, you should probably explain to them that you have actual morals- hopefully by then they'll stop bothering you if they have any lick of sense. If they're more immature, however, you'll need to bring it up at a time where it will make them feel embarrassed. Next time they bring up such a thing, be as stern and sure about it as you can, and rebuke them for it. Make sure to keep the subject of what you say on them and how immature they are, and on nothing else- if you do bring up a different subject, it will give them a topic to quarrel on. Make it as quick as you can, and keep it criticism, not a debate. Do your best to separate your interests from theirs.

And if they do start a debate, try to criticize what they believe in. Like if they're Darwinians, you can focus attention onto the more primitive, survivalist, and selfish parts of their ideology. Make them feel bad for it, and don't bother them afterward. Hopefully, this will keep them from harassing you. And don't you dare get cocky and get into some sort of big public debate.

Last bumped by Gabrielman on Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:22 pm.

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