General belief about a group of people - and expects that belief to be true of all individuals in the group.


People use stereotypes as shortcuts to make sense of their social contexts, and this makes a person's task of understanding his or her world less cognitively demanding.


Stereotyping is among the reasons for prejudicial attitudes. Possible prejudicial effects of stereotypes are:

  • Justification of ill-founded prejudices or ignorance
  • Unwillingness to rethink one's attitudes and behaviour
  • Preventing some people of stereotyped groups from entering or succeeding in activities or fields

Stereotype threat occurs when people are aware of a negative stereotype about their social group and experience anxiety or concern that they might confirm the stereotype.