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Stereotypes – Definition, Impacts and Solutions

Stereotypes – Definition, Impacts and Solutions

A study by Pennington (2016) highlights a search focused on 45 experiments. The proposed mediators included motivational, subjective, and cognitive mechanisms. Other mediators, such as mind-wandering, anxiety, and negative self-thinking, were managed empirically. The study found that stereotype threats negatively affect the performance of individuals even if they are pressured to disapprove of the stereotype.

A stereotype is usually a false and untrue idea about certain people of a particular group who share certain beliefs. Some examples of stereotypes include cultural stereotypes and social and religious stereotypes. Cultural stereotypes happen when people of the same culture behave, think, and act the same. For example, people from a particular country may believe they are bright and better than people from another country (Cauteruccio et al., 2022). Conversely, social stereotypes are characteristics that people of society put people in certain groups according to age, race, skin color, wealth, and gender. For instance, people from certain groups, like a particular age group, may believe they are superior or more intelligent than the rest. Religious stereotypes are where a person believes that they belong to a specific religion and behave according to the regulation of that spirituality. For example, some religious groups believe they are wiser and more generous than others.

Stereotypes influence how people think about others because they make them focus on some things and distract others, affecting how they remember things. They also affect how people act towards others, causing them to be threatened in public, given nicknames, bullied, and ignored, which lowers their self-esteem. Stereotyping causes anxiety, which can interfere with the performance of daily activities. Stereotypes can cause people to have problems making decisions because they are impacted emotionally and psychologically; therefore, they lack self-control and have difficulty making decisions (Kunda et al., 2020). Stereotyping can also lead to the abuse of drugs among the youths when their emotions are affected, and they may easily fall into depression or substance use disorders. Stereotyping can also hinder communication because when somebody feels inferior to others, they do not have the confidence to speak their minds.

According to Taylor et al. (2021), the development of stereotypes in children can be reduced by establishing a safe space for them to explore and learn, countering stereotypes that they hear from the outside environment by encouraging them that they are capable of doing something, affiliating them with role models, buying for them motivational books and rewarding them after an achievement.


Cauteruccio, F., Corradini, E., Terracina, G., Ursino, D., & Virgili, L. (2022). Investigating Reddit to detect subreddit and author stereotypes and to evaluate author assortativity. Journal of Information Science, 48(6), 783-810.

Kunda, Z., & Oleson, K. C. (2020). When exceptions prove the rule: How extremity of deviance determines the impact of bad examples on stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(5), 965.

Pennington, C. R., Heim, D., Levy, A. R., & Larkin, D. T. (2016). Twenty years of stereotype threat research: A review of psychological mediators. PloS one11(1), e0146487.

Taylor, L., & Ray, D. C. (2021). Child-centered play therapy and social-emotional competencies of African American children: A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Play Therapy, 30(2), 74.


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Mental sets can hinder problem-solving. Stereotypes are a type of mental set that can have great consequences.

Locate scholarly research on stereotypes and provide a brief summary of that research.
Describe what a stereotype is and provide three examples.
Explain how a stereotype can be problematic for the person holding the belief.
Explain how the development of stereotypes can be reduced in children.

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