In a social or organizational context, prejudice refers to an attitude, usually negative, toward a person or a group of people because of their group membership. When this attitude is expressed behaviorally, the result is discrimination. At the core of prejudice are stereotypes and stereotype-based assumptions.

The Stereotyping Process

Although researchers have debated the precise definition of a stereotype, the term generally refers to a set of beliefs about the characteristics, attributes, and behaviors of members of a certain group. Stereotypes about groups of people are a by-product of categorization processes. Just as we categorize cars and foods, we also categorize people. Once categorized, generalizations about what we believe to be the defining features of a category (e.g., cars have four wheels) are assumed to characterize individual ...

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