Why do people that fit a stereotype always have to do something that reinforces that stereotype.
Today I was behind a car. It fit the kind of stereotype that I would assume spends a lot of money and time at Walmart. I cursed myself for thinking something so stereotypical about someone just because they looked like a stereo type and then the damn car slammed on their brakes and drove into the walmart I pass on my way home.
Did I stereotype them because they meet the stereotype or did I stereotype them because they not only meet that stereotype but they were within proximity to the walmart, ergo they were on their way anyway so I was precondition to stereotype them because of their proximity to Walmart?
It's called Confirmation Bias, what you are explaining. And yeah, it's a major component to stereotyping. You see lots of confirming information regarding your hypothesis that they were Walmartians.
I just did another major component to a stereotype-I labeled them as an "Other" and gave them a potentially dehumanizing label.
The human mind is an amazingly complex thing. Able to perceive things that you don't realize is being perceived and then weave that perception into what seems like spontaneous thought. Only on recollection do you realize that there was the initial polluting of the sample. In this case due to it proximity to a walmart.
I just had a walmart food center oust all the small independent business from my local strip mall including a local beer and wine shop I frequented...um frequently and the best butcher shop on this side of town, hell maybe in the whole city of tucson all so they can be directly next to a Safeway and a Walgreens that they will try their hardest to put out of business, so yeah I dislike walmart, but not as much as I hate hate...and irony.
I think you are reading too much into this RC. A lot of us are good at assimilating and processing information as it presents itself. The facts are:
- The vehicle is something that a particular perceived group of people might be likely to use
- You have been on the 'peopleofwalmart' site a bit too much lately and this person looks familiar in some way
- Walmart is just down the street
- You are a person who perhaps has good sensory perception and powers of deduction
- The drugs have not kicked in yet
Perhaps without even knowing it, you were "profiling" them.
In regards to places going out of business and land use, value of land will always go to the highest value and highest bidder of said land, and Politicians will see to it that it will be zoned accordingly and taxed accordingly, what ever generates the most tax revenue for the city coffers gets the zoning nod and the changes. Basic Economics 101. It's how cities are built.
"i'll brazilian when YOU do boy, right around the ol' rusty star. Actually, whole fruit bowl. Get on it!" NicoleB
To a certain extent, stereotypes have existed since the caveman days really...and perhaps even before. For example, not every bison would charge/attack when cornered, yet the cavemen knew to be cautious. They had witnessed enough of the same behavior from bison to bison to know that they needed to be cautious.
Same thing applies today. Human to animal...human to human. I am not saying this is OK, or even correct behavior. I am just implying that perhaps it is in our DNA..
It is what it is. No fixing it.
Anyone who claims to "not stereotype" is just kidding themselve's.
Simple question.... Would you comfortably walk down the streets the of most dangerous neighborhoods in America at night?
If you answer "yes", then you are not being honest. Perhaps not very intelligent or maybe drunk or on drugs?
If you answer "no", then you have stereotyped the folks living in the neighborhood as dangerous and not to be trusted.
Remember...not EVERYONE in that neighborhood is a bad person! Sheesh! Shame on you!!
BTW...if I find myself stereotyping (making a prediction), I desperately want to be wrong. I really do. Unfortunately, that is not always the case....serving to only reinforce said stereotype. Argh!!
The mind likes order, and to organize things, people, etc into groups and categories. Therefore, when you make an assumption (ie, stereotype) and it is reinforced, as it was in this instance, your mind remembers it and files it away. If that car kept on moving, the mind would have thrown the encounter away subconsciously and you would have trashed the encounter and forgotten all about it instead of filing it away (unless you made a conscious effort to challenge yourself, and break that pattern of stereotyping...) Our brains are both genius and stupid computers like that, doing so much automatically.
I actually find it kind of fun to challenge my stupid brain and force it to accept realities that don't fit the mold and assumptions it makes, instead of throwing away the mis-categorizations as trash and only accepting/ remembering reinforcing input
I my way to work I pass this house and the old tenants had a pit bull chained up outside and I always assumed them to be of certain ethnic origin. Probably assumed that not because I think only a certain ethnic origin keeps pits because I know more people of a different ethnic race that actually keeps pits however I assumed this because of the big heavy chain around this dogs neck every time I passed the house.
Latter I found out I was right.
Then they moved out.
The new tenants moved in.
Vehicles and toys scattered around the yard along with the wooded rocking chair tied in the tree to make a swing made me think they were a certain ethnic origin. Then one day I saw their little chiuaua running around and I thought yup, I am probably right.
Later I saw the people that lived there and realized how right I was.
The point is, this house is not in a predominantly ethnic neighborhood.
Both tenants were ethnically different and nothing about the house itself had changed.
I was able to make these assumptions by things in the yard.
Sure, I could have been wrong but generally speaking I am not.
If I see a caprice on huge chrome rims with a flashy paint job, generally speaking it belongs to a guy of a certain ethnic origin.
A car with a huge wing, every stick on fake vent that can be bough at Autozone, and huge sticker of the Virgin Mary on the back window then it belongs to another ethnic race.
Now, I make no assumptions about those people personally except for the guy who leaves his dog chained up outside all the time because I just think that is cruel. However, my dislike has to do with his mistreatment of an animal and not his race.
Not that it is always right but stereotypes exist for a reason.
If it was an internal reflection than I am a black-mexican-redneck-white trash-asian-yankee-foreigner-senior citizen-teenager........etc etc etc.