ADVANTAGES

One of the most important types of schemes used for orientation in the social environment are the stereotypes, representing the opinions among members of a certain group about the other groups. They are internalized during the socialization. They can be a result of our own observations or be adopted from the influence of the significant others, such as family, friends, teachers and media. Because of many simplifications and generalizations that they produce, stereotypes present incomplete, subjective and sometimes false image of the reality. They are often based on tradition and are resistant to change. Although they can both have positive and negative undertone, the latter is much more common. Even if certain arguments allow to refute a stereotype, people would rather treat it as an exception that proves the rule, than change the way of thinking. Besides, social categorizations can lead to the effect of homogeneity of the foreign group. Elliot Aronson, another American psychologist, said that stereotypes are used to attribute the identical features to each member of a certain group without taking the existing differences among the members into consideration (1972).

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