People establish stereotypes based on assumptions about the social roles of particular groups, such as the stereotype of fast-food workers as high school dropouts.
Think about a recent high school alumnus. Now, think about what occupation that individual is likely to hold. Fast-food workers are overrepresented within the workforce, which is understandable given the industry’s focus on those who have not completed high school.
In the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, IPR social psychologist Alice Eagly and the University of San Diego’s Anne Koenig, a former IPR graduate research assistant, study how people come to establish stereotypes based on these sorts of assumptions about social positions.
How Do Stereotypes Appear in Society?
People often hold preconceived notions about certain professions, such as “MBA” and “senior citizen,”. That are based on “social role theory,” which has mainly been used to understand gender stereotypes. Theories like this one suggest that when individuals notice that a particular group is over-represented in specific roles. Such as women provide care for their families — they extrapolate the traits that they believe are demonstrated in these roles. And attribute them to the entire group, which in this case would be women in general.
Eagle and Koenig ran a series of tests to determine how essential professional roles are in forming stereotypes. In an initial experiment, participants indicated the usual occupational positions associated with groups ranging from black males and Hispanics to the impoverished, Republicans, and high school dropouts. These judgments about typical responsibilities were overall pretty correct, as revealed by occupational statistics from the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
In subsequent tests, they graded the attributes necessary for success in various positions and the traits required to conduct conventional role behaviors—for example, for a fast-food worker, “serve clients in dining locations that specialize in rapid service.” In all trials, the characteristics of participants assigned to the usual vocations of each social group matched the preconceptions of that group. It is hypothesized that group stereotypes are formed by seeing the many social roles that group members play daily.
Stereotypes in Society?
As stated by Eagly, “stereotypes really aren’t mysterious or arbitrary; they are founded in the observation of everyday life.” And you can also read about modules for business administration.
Additionally, stereotypes are neither stable nor inflexible, Eagly and Koenig found. In another experiment, participants were told that, in the next 25–30 years, there would be an increase in the number of white male nurses and were then asked how they would be seen.
The participants adjusted their perceptions about the group of white guys to match these new roles. In other words, if enough members of a stereotyped group succeed in breaking into new fields. Whether males are in nursing or women are into math and science—prevailing assumptions about them will likely shift. And this research is done by our write my essay Australia writer Eddie Broke.
Of course, we must employ individuals of stereotyped groups in new industries to break into them. The beginning point for policy initiatives, according to Eagly, should be this point.
“We can’t just modify the stereotype directly, or the psychology that drives it. Since it is built on everyday observations,” Eagly said, emphasizing that individuals should attempt to boost disadvantaged groups’ access to better occupations. “We must alter the perception of reality among the general public.”
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