Stereotype vs Prejudice
Stereotype and Prejudice are two types of beliefs about different classes of individuals. These two types of beliefs show considerable difference between them. It is interesting to note that the word ‘stereotype’ is derived from the Greek word ‘stereos’ meaning ‘firm’ or ‘solid’. They are standardized beliefs about people based on some prior assumptions.
On the other hand, prejudice is a kind of prejudgment or assumption about somebody before having sufficient knowledge to judge with accuracy. This is primarily the difference between stereotype and prejudice. It is a conception about people based on ethnicity, race, gender, caste and the like. Therefore, prejudice refers to beliefs without sound knowledge of the facts concerned with the belief.
According to psychological studies, there are a number of theories on stereotypes. One of the theories says that stereotyping is due to the fact that it is too difficult to take all the complexities of other people as individuals. Another theory says that in a bid to think good about oneself people engage in stereotype. It is generally believed that childhood influences are indeed some of the very difficult factors in developing stereotypes.
The research done on prejudice shows that much of prejudice is based on negative feelings towards people belonging to other groups but showing favor towards people belonging to one’s own groups. This is possibly developed not due to hated though, but due to admiration and trust in one’s own groups.
Sometimes, unusual or undesirable notions about someone may result in prejudice too. Thus, social status is also a very important factor to be taken to affect prejudice. On the other hand, stereotypes are quite common in cultural media, where actors don the role of different characters. These are the important differences between the two words, namely, stereotype and prejudice.