Stereotype vs Generalization
Stereotype and Generalization are two types of logical reasoning that show differences between them. Stereotyping refers to an oversimplified idea of the typical characteristics of a person or thing. For an example let us assume a person belonging to a particular profession such as an accountant, a doctor, a salesperson, etc.. If we take out a specific characteristic and oversimplify all individuals as having that particular trait, then that is stereotyping. Generalization is quite different to Stereotypes. This can be defined as making a general statement to encompass all individuals who belong to a particular category. This article attempts to provide an understanding of these two concepts while elaborating the difference.
What is Stereotype?
Stereotype consists in attributing some characteristics to a group of individuals based on some common factor the group might have. If you consider that all obese are lazy too then, it amounts to stereotype thinking or logic. As a matter of fact stereotypic type of reasoning is based on inaccurate observations and conclusions arrived at the improper perception of characteristics. However, stereotypes can also be helpful for individuals. These are developed in people from childhood itself which assists the individual to reduce the mental processes. To be more elaborative, people develop schemas or else mental shortcut so that the processing can be reduced. When we meet an obese person, we consider that individual as lazy because of these schemas. People can have stereotypic views about many things. It can be about various kinds of people, professions, etc.. However, one has to keep in mind that stereotypes can be faulty hence cloud one’s judgment and perception of others. Let us examine this further one can say that stereotype is rooted in inaccurate observations. If you say that all those who are highly educated can be poor in financial status, then it is an observation based on inaccuracy, and it paves the way for stereotype method of logical reasoning. It is interesting to note that stereotype is seen more often in the theater.
What is Generalization?
Let us suppose A and B are two related concepts. Then A is considered a generalization of concept B, if and only if, every instance of concept B is also the instance of concept A, and if there are instances of concept A, which are not instances of concept B. This is the idea behind the logical reasoning of generalization. Let us see how generalization can be explained. It can be said that food is the generalization of curry since any curry is food. And there are foods that are not curries, meat, for example. This is one of the main differences between stereotype and generalization. Biological generalization and geometrical generalization are two important types of generalization. ‘All people who smoked cigars suffered from cancer’ is a kind of generalization. There may be many who might not have suffered or died out of cancer despite the fact that they were chain-smokers. These are the important differences between stereotype and generalization.
What is the Difference Between Stereotype and Generalization?
• Stereotyping refers to an oversimplified idea of the typical characteristics of a person or thing.
• Generalization is making a general statement to encompass all individuals who belong to a particular category.
• When speaking of generalization, two important types of generalization are biological generalization and geometrical generalization.
• In both stereotyping and generalization, there is a high possibility of arriving at the wrong conclusion due to the nature of these concepts.
1.”Participants of a walk against Diabetes and for general fitness around Nauru airport” by Lorrie Graham/AusAID. [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons