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Prejudice and Culture

Prejudice has traditionally been assumed to be the product of some form of malice, brought about by social or emotional forces. In recent years, there has been increasing research on how prejudice can result from cognitive processes, without malicious intent. Can you explain how and why cognitive processes can produce prejudice. What is the impact of culture on prejudice? Once stereotypes and prejudices are formed, how do they come to be self-perpetuating. Please provide research evidence for five reasons why attitudes sometimes fail to predict behavior.

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1) Stereotyping and Typologies: Stereotypes are a natural human way in which we organize information. Stereotyping is our way of categorizing information. We arrange the stereotypes into typologies. For instance, we categorize individuals from their personality traits and determine which job is suitable for them. Myers-Briggs personality tests uses typologies of personality types to determine compatibility of a person for a job. The typologies or stereotypes such as an Accountant is a quiet, introverted, independent, systematic worker is being used. These stereotypes are not meant to be harmful. However, using typologies and these tests tend "to eliminate exceptions to the rule" or the uniqueness of individuals. Often, they are not perfect tool and can eliminate perfect candidates who do not fit the stereotype. However, typology is a useful way to process and organize information. It is a easy and systematic way to make decisions. In job settings, they are helpful in making snap judgements.

Reference: Devine, P. G. (1989). Stereotypes and prejudice: their automatic and controlled components. Journal of personality and social psychology, 56(1), 5.

2) Attribution theory- Stereotypes help us understand and explain situations. For ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses how prejudice is part of our social world and cognitive processes.