Formation of Stereotypes

  • Jillian Gilmour
Keywords: stereotyping, prejudice, social cognition, neural correlates, stereotype validity model, facial features, mass media, society


The author of this paper explores the implications of automatic stereotyping in relation to social cognition drawing from the pre-existing literature. The current review is focused on how stereotypes are constructed, activated, maintained, and what cognitive tools are needed in order to change them. The construction of stereotypes is looked at in respect to the stereotype validity model, facial features, the mass media, and the influence society has on perpetuating stereotypes on a global scale. The neural correlates involved in the activation of stereotypes are discussed, including the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, and anterior temporal cortex. The current review also includes ways in which cognitive processing can be slowed down to prevent the perpetuation of negative prejudices. Based on the review, future work is still required in the areas of longitudinal and diary studies that look into the long term consequences of the rapid activation and application of stereotypes.


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