Stereotypes are the characteristics that are believed to be true of a particular social group and its members. They are generally traits (Blacks are athletic; women are emotional) but can potentially include other attributes (___ are likely to be lawyers;___ are likely to be on welfare). Stereotypes may be positive in valence (Italians are romantic; Asians are good in math), but most are negative. Stereotypes represent the cognitive component of intergroup beliefs and are related to the affective component (prejudice) and the behavioral component (discrimination) of intergroup relations. Stereotypes often predict, and serve as a rationalization for, both prejudice and discrimination. As trait dimensions, stereotype beliefs fall into the basic dimensions used to judge people more generally. For instance, a large part of the variance ...

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