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Ben Fincher

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Are we pre-dispositioned to make stereotypes?

According to Jeff Hawkins our brains work by making patterns and predicting that they'll continue to be true. Do you think stereotypes are included in these generalizations our brains are hardwired to make? How could this affect how we combat stereotyping in settings like the workplace?

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  • Aug 18 2011: Yes, we are, its part of the mechanism that allows as to recognize someone 100 meters away, our brains look for patterns, shapes, colors, movements, sounds and that stuff, stereotypes allow us to assume a bulk of information about a person at first sight.

    The problem with stereotypes is when we attach negative connotations to them that are not accurate just for the heck of it, like "Nerds are introverted social freaks" or "black people are bad" or "women belong in the kitchen".

    If we were more careful about them stereotypes could be a great tool for us, I think this is why most psychologists like to use the word "profile" in stead of stereotype when they refer to the stereotype a given patient of them fits in.

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