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Characteristics of Stereotypes | b.ed notes | in Psychology


Characteristics of Stereotypes b.ed notes 


To understand the meaning of stereotypes, it is necessary to look at their characteristics which are as follows- 

(1) Stereotype is a mental picture- 

Stereotype is really a mental picture with reference to the individuals of a class or community by which we reserve certain characteristics in the individuals of that class. 

For example, years have passed since the independence of the country, but the caste system is not ending. He has set his feet. 

Many laws have been made against untouchability in our country, but the common people still consider it dirty, illiterate, helpless, weak etc.

(2) Stereotypes are unanimous beliefs: 


In stereotypes, there is a belief about a particular group of individuals on which there is a consensus. 

For example, a Hindu woman considers her husband as her deity. Whether the husband is drunkard, dutiless, characterless, she lives with him and considers him as her sacred religion. 

Similarly, there is general consensus among the public that teachers are idealists. Politicians are opportunistic, lawyers are shrewd, and so on.

(3) Stereotype is a two-value orientation— 


Stereotype is a two-value orientation. Bi-value orientation refers to perceiving and describing the same behavior towards a class or community in many ways, depending on who is doing it? 

For example, for a Hindi speaking resident of Tamil Nadu to receive education in Tamil is against the national sentiment while he himself considers education in his mother tongue as a symbol of nationalism. 

An Indian considers himself peace-loving, no matter how much he is stressing on preparing for war, but considers another nation to be war-ready. 

Similarly, the belief of Pakistan or any other nation may be that India is war ready whereas it is peace loving.

(4) Stereotypes bring simplicity in our perception – 


Stereotypes make it easier for a person to understand the complex world. If we try to understand the behavior of each individual, then difficulties may arise in front of us. 

By being stereotyped, we give only one type of noun to the behavior of a class. It eases our perception. 

To better understand the stereotypes, it would be more appropriate if we take a look at some of the experiments done on them.

(5) Stereotypes have the ability to generalize – 


Stereotypes are developed on experiences with people of a social class or community. 

That is, when a person comes in contact with the people of any one class or community and repeatedly gets the same experiences from the people of that class, then he generalizes on all the people of that class or community.

(6) Stereotypes are irreversible - 

The main characteristic of stereotypes is that they are irreversible. Even after making corrective efforts, there is no change in stereotypes. 

For example, even after the abolition of dowry system, this practice continues even today and Hindu women consider their husbands as deities even after being harassed and burnt by their in-laws. 


In fact, once a stereotype is created, no matter how many corrective efforts are made, it is impossible to change it.

(7) Stereotypes can be both positive or negative - 

Stereotypes can be of both positive and negative types. Like- 'Paharis are hardworking', 'Christians are sociable' etc. are examples of positive stereotypes.