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Stereotype Effects and Attributions: Inside and Out

Stereotypes were first described by Walter Lippmann (1922) as “mental pictures of reality.” Expanding on this notion, Gordon Allport (1954) considered how stereotypes (which he defined as “overcategorizations”) are formed and applied. Allport was the first to say that stereotypes can manifest from a “kernel of truth” (p. 19), meaning that people take one (kernel) experience with a given group and attribute that experience to all group members; thus, stereotypes are not necessarily reality based (as Lippmann implied). Allport wrote that because it takes too long to think deeply about everything we encounter, people must rely on snippets of information (i.e., stereotypes) to make decisions. Stereotypes are beliefs, knowledge, and expectations about a group that influence our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Stereotypes are formed from ...

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