Social psychology is a field where the norms of the societies, as well as the factors of the societies, are discussed. Social behavior defers from one culture to another culture. In this study, social categorization and stereotypes are chosen for the discussion and both factors can affect the behavior of the individuals in the society. Psychological development is the way by which individuals develop from birth to death and the entire development is having developmental tasks. Developmental tasks also determine the behavior of the individuals. Social factors can also affect the developmental tasks in every stage of human life. Social conformity and stereotypes generate thoughts about the group and the individuals of the group. The relationship between stereotypes and social categorization is also discussed for a better understanding of society.
The concept of social categorization
Social categorization is the term of social psychology and it refers to the way of a person’s mind that is having a cluster of characteristics. The person can classify the people based on demographic information, personality and interests, and the occupation of a person. This process is having several functions. Social categorization is helping a person to organize the concepts of the society about the world and implement the understanding in different activities of the world (Mazza et al. 2017). People used to have some particular perceptions about society and they categorize the people according to society.
People can start to do some assumptions about the groups they are belonging and associate the characteristics of that group. Discussing with people, groups and community is important for the mental functioning of the individuals. People may have complex concepts of the system because of the multifaceted environment. While a person thinking about one particular category, then the person of that category is associated with the characteristics of the people. The most common examples of social categorization are age, sex, and race. Social categorization is based upon these factors and this can cause stereotyping of any group or the community.
Application of social categorization in the real life
In the world, social categorization can be seen everywhere because in every country the people are having some conceptions about the ethnicity and characteristics of other communities. At the individual level, the conversation between two people used to start, and then they got to know about themselves (Mazza et al. 2017). But in this time, they have some perceptions about each other community and group that can be developed from past experiences of the individuals. In real life, social categorization can between every group and community and it is affecting the thoughts of the person. Most of the time stereotypical thinking about one group can be a cause of negative approaches. Due to the misconception about one community, it can affect the relationship between the individuals in the group or the relationship between the members of the group.
Benefits of social categorization
Social categorization tends to have some knowledge regarding a particular group or members of the groups. But if someone knows about the specific features of the individuals of the group then it will be helpful to do the tasks properly. For example, we can easily identify police officers because of their dress and they are maintaining the law and order of society. Description of social categorization can be associated with heuristics and provide more information about the groups or the community of any individual. It can develop the ideas of generating functional ways of dealing with the current world.
Negative outcomes of social categorization
One of the negative outcomes of social categorization is it can exaggerate the thinking of a person and it can affect the thoughts regarding any individuals of the society. This exaggerated thinking can affect the approaches towards that group and it may generate negative thoughts among the group members.
It can be concluded from the above topic that social categorization is the conception regarding any groups or individuals coming from various backgrounds. Social categorization is important for gathering knowledge regarding different communities and people from diverse backgrounds. Both the benefits and negative consequences of social categorization are discussed in the study (Roetzel, 2019). Social categorization can generate negative thoughts about any community or group which affects the relationship among the group members of the groups. Stereotypical thoughts can generate prejudices and discriminations within the society based on the caste, age, and sex of any person.
The concepts of stereotypes
Stereotypes are the generalization of thoughts regarding a person or a community. Social stereotyping can be seen in society according to the context and situation which can be varied from one situation to another situation. Social categorization is the reason for prejudiced attitudes among individuals and stereotypical thoughts. Stereotypical thoughts can be seen within the in-group and out-group members of the community. Positive stereotypes and negative stereotypes both are seen in this society and both can affect the structure of the society.
Application of stereotypes on the real life situation
Researchers have analyzed that stereotypes are there in different communities and cultures. Every race, culture, and ethnic group has different meanings (González Rey, 2017). But stereotypical thoughts have restricted us from having proper thoughts about the community or groups. Stereotypical thoughts can be one reason for prejudice and discrimination in society. Negative stereotypes are the negative thoughts that are generated because of any social consequences. Racial stereotypes are in favor of a particular community holder and it is affecting the other races.
Stereotypical threats can be seen in various parts of the world and it is one of the negative consequences of stereotypes. People who do not believe the concepts of stereotype can be affected by the threats from another person. Stereotypical threats can ruin the social life of one community or group. Many cases have registered in the past which has stated the incidents of such attacks and how it has affected the lives of the victims.
Causes of stereotypes
The causes of stereotypes are poor parenting, conflicts between any individuals who are representing a particular community, and inadequate mental and emotional development of the person.
Relationship between conformity and stereotype
Conformity is the knowledge gathering about any community or the individuals and stereotypes are formed due to conformity (Manstead, 2018). Most of the time stereotypes are negative and affect the individuals’ lifestyle. Due to do conformity one person can develop the concepts of in-group and out-group and after that the exaggerate thoughts regarding the groups are developed. It can affect the relationship between two members of the groups of or the community. Social conformity is facilitating the thoughts which are generating the stereotypical thoughts within the individuals.
It can be concluded that stereotypes are the thoughts about a particular group or community and stereotypical thoughts can be positive as well as negative. Stereotypes have some negative consequences which can affect the lifestyle of a person. Various factors are associated with stereotypes. One of the causes of stereotypes is poor mental and emotional development. Various incidents of racial discriminations can be seen because of the stereotypical thoughts of the society. Stereotypes and prejudice are interrelated with each other. If there is stereotype then prejudice can also be seen at there. Prejudice is said as the negative thoughts about one community or group due to having limited number of information or insufficient information about the community or the individuals.
González Rey, F. (2017). The topic of subjectivity in psychology: Contradictions, paths and new alternatives. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 47(4), 502-521.
Manstead, A. S. (2018). The psychology of social class: How socioeconomic status impacts thought, feelings, and behaviour. British Journal of Social Psychology, 57(2), 267-291.
Mazza, M., Mariano, M., Peretti, S., Masedu, F., Pino, M. C., & Valenti, M. (2017). The role of theory of mind on social information processing in children with autism spectrum disorders: A mediation analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(5), 1369-1379.
Roetzel, P. G. (2019). Information overload in the information age: a review of the literature from business administration, business psychology, and related disciplines with a bibliometric approach and framework development. Business research, 12(2), 479-522.