Social prejudices and stereotypes: definition

  • Jul 26, 2021
click fraud protection

For Santiago Villar Pallás. January 24, 2018

Social prejudices and stereotypes: definition

Prejudging a person consists of make judgments before meeting her. Due to cognitive economy and a certain emotional placidity we tend to classify people in the first instance. Thus, our "first glance" is sifted by our beliefs, placing us in a certain position. Our position mainly depends on our beliefs about ourselves, as we always "look" with our eyes.

In this PsychologyOnline article, we are going to talk about what are social prejudices and stereotypes and how to overcome them.

Albert Bandura coined the concept of self-efficacy. This term refers to the confidence that a person has in achieving a goal and that affects the achievement of this, that is, in the performance itself. People with low self-efficacy give up easily to difficulties or even decide not to tackle the challenge at first. Beliefs about our self-efficacy are part of our self-esteem.

In practice, we would have to consider that teachers, managers and coaches should reinforce the self-image of their students, workers and athletes, respectively. By helping to avoid failure and stigmatization, learners' performance will improve dramatically.

The self-esteem it is a broad concept that includes emotional (I feel), cognitive (I think) and behavioral (I do) factors. In practice, these factors constantly intermingle, feeding off each other. In this way, we can understand how failures in an early age produce permanent discouragement in some people. On the other hand, we can elucidate how our social biases or stereotypes they stigmatize certain people or social groups. Our self-esteem influences both our personal performance and the judgments we have of others. When judging others, what we do is raise certain expectations about their self-efficacy.

When fear invades us or we doubt ourselves, our sensitivity to stimuli that announce failure increases. The position of others depends on the beliefs of how they will shore up or demolish our self-esteem. The basic underlying emotions are fear and joy: fear in the face of danger or joy in the face of a new challenge.

Naively, we hold ourselves in the belief that the image that others project corresponds to the expectations we have about the acts that they are capable of carrying out. For example, we feel joy when we are sick and a person in a white coat examines us, but we feel fear when, in the same situation, we are examined by a person dressed in mechanical.

Thus, we can consider more subtle stereotypes such as that women drive worse or that Asians are more workers. Most of our occasions social stereotypes are automaticIn other words, they are learned ways of survival.

Social prejudices and stereotypes: definition - The position of others

Through dialogue we can break down the stereotypes based on fear and sustain ourselves in the joy for the existence of the other.

Joy is an emotion that makes us open to experience and allows us the constant possibility of changing position. Spinoza defined love as "joy for an external reality." It is possible that our worst enemy lives within us because we are not capable of being kind to ourselves. When we are capable of loving ourselves, we can undertake the adventure of loving others.

This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

instagram viewer