A stereotype is a widely held belief about the characteristics of a social group and its members (e.g., women are bad drivers or men are bad communicators). Stereotyping occurs when people apply a belief about a group of individuals to any given individual deemed to be part of that group. It is important to understand this topic from a life-span human development perspective because children begin to categorize groups and form stereotypes from a very young age, and these beliefs continue to develop and influence judgment and behavior through adolescence and adulthood. Moreover, age can be the very basis of some stereotypes—take, for example, the stereotype teenagers are lazy or the elderly are forgetful. Drawing on established theories and the substantial research literature, particularly ...

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