Sample Essay

The developments of such stereotypes like the ones mentioned above occur over time with the use of perceptions from our surroundings. In fact this information can become so ingrained that the accommodation of new knowledge actually becomes difficult. There are three ways in which information about social groups is assimilated when considered in a social cognitive manner. They are known as group schemas, group prototypes and exemplars. Group Schema is the most conventional approach which occurs in individuals.

In this schema an individual collects information which confirms their perception of the stereotype and stores them in memory. Additional information which agrees with this viewpoint is collected while information against it is discarded. Group Prototypes is an approach which relates how this information is represented cognitively. This category labels certain groups of people with associated features and uses this label to assemble them. It also associates these features as being representative of the entire group. The final social cognitive approach to stereotyping is known as the Exemplars. Exemplars are specific perceptions an individual may have to another person who they encountered previously and how perceptions can be attributed to another person who shares similar features (Macrae, Stangor, & Hewstone, 1996).

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