Stereotyping has negative impact on performance

August 11th, 2010 - 5:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Aug 11 (IANS) Researchers say that stereotyping or prejudice has a negative impact on one’s performance.
Stereotyping is a commonly held public belief about specific social groups or types of individuals.

“Past studies have shown that people perform poorly in situations where they feel they are being stereotyped,” says Michael Inzlicht, associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, who led the study.

“What we wanted to do was look at what happens afterwards. Are there lingering effects of prejudice? Does being stereotyped have an impact beyond the moment when stereotyping happens,” Inzlicht says.

In order to determine whether negative stereotyping in a particular situation has lasting effects, Inzlicht’s team performed a series of tests, reports the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

First, they placed participants in situations where they had to perform a task in the face of negative stereotyping, according to a Toronto statement.

After the participants were removed from the prejudicial situation, researchers measured their ability to control their aggression, eat appropriate amounts, make rational decisions and stay focused.

Their results show that prejudice and stereotyping have lingering adverse impacts.

“Even after a person leaves a situation where he faced negative stereotypes, the effect of coping with that situation remains,” Inzlicht says.

“People are more likely to be aggressive after they’ve faced prejudice in a given situation. They are more likely to exhibit a lack of self control. They have trouble making good, rational decisions. And they are more likely to over-indulge on unhealthy foods.

“These lingering effects hurt people in a very real way, leaving them at a disadvantage,” Inzlicht added.

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