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Prototype an Advantage or Disadvantage? Essay

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As humans, we have a natural tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and ignore contrary evidence. We also fear what we can’t control because dramatic events are readily available to memory and they shape our perceptions of risk. These readily available memories can be stimulated when reminded of a concept that links to the dramatic event. We often form our concept by developing prototypes. Prototypes provide a quick and easy method for sorting items into categories. Unfortunately, prototypes can also be used towards racial discrimination. When we have a prototype of a particular ethnic group we tend to categorize the whole ethnic group to that prototype; although, it might not be a true fact. For example, after the 9’11 incident, people started fearing all Muslims and had the concept of terrorist and the best prototype that matched the concept “terrorist” was Muslim. In this paper I will cover three terms; Prototypes, confirmation bias, and belief perseverance.
Depending on the situation, prototypes can be used as an advantage or disadvantage. The advantage of prototype would be to quickly categorizing items into its beat fit; disadvantage would be using it to discriminate certain racial groups or the inability to match a concept to a certain prototype; for instance, when penguins don’t resemble our bird prototype. Prototype is a mental image or best example of a category (Myers, 2011). For example, In the movie “The Help” ((Columbus, Barnathan, Green, & Taylor, 2011) ), the southern white society have a prototype of a black servant. The society’s concept of a servant (someone who does all the dirty work) fits perfectly with their prototype of a black woman. In the movie, the black maid is in...


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...ategorize items. For instance, when you have symptoms and your symptoms does not match a disease prototype then it’s slower to detect illness (Myers, 2011). On the other hand, Confirmation bias allows you to search for answers that support your belief. Such as, when a student writes a paper then he/she searches for answer that confirms their belief. And belief perseverance makes a person unwilling to admit that their initial premise may not be true. This information is important because now you know that having arguments is useless because both sides are never wrong and they both reject each other’s beliefs.



Works Cited

Myers, D. (2011) Psychology. (10th edition). New York, NY: Worth publishers.
Columbus, C., Barnathan, M., Green, B. (Producer), & Taylor, T. (Director). (2011). The Help [Motion picture]. United States: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.



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