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  • jakelafort posted an update in the group Group logo of Random PostsRandom Posts 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    When you first see a person do you form an opinion of their intelligence or personality just by appearance? Is your impression typically accurate? Does your impression typically gibe with racial, ethnic or gender stereotypes? If the stereotype and your impression based on appearance is synergistic do you scold yourself and subtract a bit?

    I don’t even know what led me to those thoughts and it is facile to ascribe such thoughts to randomness. But that is lazy.

    • I think stereotyping is an essential aspect of our daily thinking. We call it stereotyping when we disapprove of it, but what’s the difference between a general concept (a generalization) and a stereotype? Between an assumption based on experience and a stereotype? Not all nurses are female, but most are. Is that a stereotype or a simple observation?
        • All stereotypes are generalizations. Not all generalizations are stereotypes. In most cases stereotypes are oversimplifications even if there is a grain of validity. They often have contain discriminatory or prejudicial notions and are held in common by large numbers and go without questioning like religious cant. They’re also transmitted like other mind viruses.
          That said i am of the opinion that overwhelmingly we human form instant impressions/expectations based on nothing more than appearance. Some of our expectations are based on our own experience with members of a group. Like it or not we tend to assume the individual is closely aligned with the group. It is not the best way to operate but we’re human.
            • Like I said: “We call it stereotyping when we disapprove of it.” For those in the know, the everyday form of reasoning isn’t induction and it’s certainly not deduction. It’s abduction, which is just a fancy philosophical/logical word for what we normally call common sense. Common sense is as unreliable as it is unavoidable. We can’t trust it completely but we’re kind of stuck with it.
                • Can’t go along with notion that generalizations and stereotypes are one and same. All stereotypes are generalization but not all generalizations are stereotypes. While it is true in certain cases that we call it stereotype when we disapprove it is also true that a stereotype does not depend on our assessment of it. Stereotypes have characteristics aforementioned and others while some generalizations lack the necessary badges to characterize them as stereotypes.

                  Sometimes we form our own generalizations based on experience and without reference to stereotypes. For instance we may have observed 6 Cambodian families newly granted citizenship in USA who are incredibly industrious and hard working and assume at first blush that a Cambodian we see for first time is the same way. Or we may have hit on 3 women who rejected us drive a lexus and found them to be snobs so we instantly conclude that the next woman driving a lexus is same way.

                  And then there are science-based generalizations that are not stereotypes.

                  What is interesting is the human tendency to identify patterns; once having recognized the individual in the pattern make the assumption that the individual is the same as the general. I am guessing it is another gift of evolution. Same as tribalism.

                    • We never say “I’m stereotyping.” We do say “He/she/they is/are stereotyping.” Hence, the disapproval aspect. When was the last time you said “I’m stereotyping”?
                      • I have called myself out for stereotyping. I’ve heard others call themselves out. Admittedly it may be unusual. Really not sure. But i take your point.

                        However it does not change the clear delineation between generalizations without stereotypes and the generalizations that are stereotypes.

                        My hunch is that stereotypes transmitted and stuck like other mind viruses are not easily dispelled. While a deeply held belief of the validity of a generalization will cause the holder to make initial judgments and have initial impressions the holder without stereotyping imprint through mind virus will be less susceptible to evidence that the subject is not or does not fit the profile. The observer is influenced by the degree of infection. Generalizations attained through reason (even shoddy reason) are more amenable to alteration based on observation of a subject. A better observer is one who is not infected. Just my strong hunch…

                    • Somehow the link to your last comment on stereotyping is dead, so you’ll have to make a mental note that this belongs after the “I have called myself out for stereotyping.” My only comment is that if you think about it, this quote proves my point, that it’s stereotyping when we disapprove of it.