Implicit Personality Theory and Stereotypes Essay

Implicit Personality Theory and Stereotypes Essay

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According to Baron, Byrne & Suls in their book Attitudes: Evaluating the social world. (1989) they defined the term Social Psychology as “the scientific field that seeks to understand the nature and causes of individual behavior in social situations”. (p. 6). There are many concepts of social perception, two of these that will be looked at in this essay are Implicit Personality Theory and stereotypes. Implicit personality theory describes the beliefs, biases and assumptions, that an individual uses when he or she forms impressions on a stranger based on limited information. The way we form impressions and the different conclusions we make about other people based upon our individual impressions is also part of this theory. One of the first people to investigate how people form impressions was Solomon Asch in the 1940’s in his experiment ‘Forming Impressions of Personality' he was interested in how people form impressions and if certain traits affected peoples impressions. A good example of Implicit personality theory is if someone who is considered unpredictable they may be considered dangerous. The second Concept of Social Psychology that will be considered is stereotypes. Cardwell (1996) described stereotypes as “...A fixed, over generalized belief about a particular group or class of people.” may have beliefs and thoughts on different social groups and individual people and how they should act, and believe that all people in that group conform and have the same characteristics as the rest. By using stereotypes, it helps us simplify how we think of the social world as having a stereotype reduces our thinking process when we meet new people. An example of stereotyping is saying that all French people wear berets and have garlic a...


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Scribd.com, (2014). Social Identity Theory. [online] Available at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/91354980/Social-Identity-Theory [Accessed 8 May. 2014].
Sparknotes.com, (2014). SparkNotes: Social Psychology: Stereotypes and Prejudice. [online] Available at: http://www.sparknotes.com/psychology/psych101/socialpsychology/section2.rhtml [Accessed 5 May. 2014].
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