Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary defines stereotyping as a standard mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, affective attitude, or uncritical judgment. Stereotyping is a form of generalization which attributes traits or characteristics to everyone in a large group. Stereotyping does not recognize individuals characteristics or achievements.

People who stereotype tend to have fixed and unbending opinions. They respond to challenges by distorting reality rather than reconsidering the assumptions and conclusions which they have labeled truth.... What happens is that the facts are compared to the stereotype and then rejected because they do not fit the stereotype.

Stereotyping is often caused by ethnocentrism--our race is chosen by God and is better than all others, or by tribalcentrism--our group is the best and our way of doing things is the only correct way.

Ramifications of stereotyping:


To avoid stereotyping: