Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Stereotypes, Overview

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_439


Stereotypes are a form of categorization which helps to simplify and streamline information so the information is easier to be identified, recalled, predicted, and reacted to. The most widely accepted conceptualization of stereotypes is that they are a way in which people form biased perceptions of their social contexts. From this perspective, it can be understood that people use stereotypes as shortcuts to make sense of their social and cultural environment, and this makes comprehending one’s world less cognitively demanding (Shih, Pittinsky, & Ho, 2012).


Stereotypes are a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group. There are two categories of stereotypes: between-group stereotypes and within-group stereotypes. When referring to between group stereotypes, objects or people are as different to each other as possible. In within group stereotypes, objects or people are as similar to each...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pace UniversityNew YorkUSA