Faculty Books and Book Chapters

Stereotype Thinking

Stereotype Thinking

Book Title

Essays in Developmental Psychology


Randall Summers, Charles Golden, Lisa Lashley, & Erica Ailes


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Stereotypes are widely held fixed thoughts and beliefs adopted by common members of a group, that represent a particular group of individuals or behaviors as a whole. Attitudes people hold reflect in-group beliefs, values, and everyday life choices that are transgressed throughout multiple generations. Stereotypes are intertwined into society, and although many people would like to deny these attitudes, they are implanted on individuals when we are young and occur without conscious awareness. Stereotype thinking is adaptive in nature, which serves the purpose to help people make sense of the world around them, by explaining social events, justifying one’s actions, and assists to distinguish in-groups in a more positive light from out-groups. Stereotype thinking permits people to have the capability of understanding others and simultaneously shapes the way individuals encounter situations.


everyday life choices, in-group beliefs, stereotype thinking, stereotypical perceptions, values

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This is one in a collection of essays as part of a project that began as an encyclopedia of developmental psychology coordinated by Dr. Randall Summers. However, for unforeseen reasons, the publisher was no longer in a position to publish the encyclopedia. This project was undertaken so that thousands of hours of work by psychologists would not go wasted. Enjoy these essays and feel free to cite them using the proper format.

Submit suggestions for corrections and topics to goldench@nova.edu.

Stereotype Thinking