What are the advantages and disadvantages of categorizing individuals? 

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Categorizing people has advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that people can develop a set of expectations if they know how a specific group of people generally thinks, behaves, and operates. This can help a person prepare for meetings, conferences, and social outings. It also may help an individual understand the cultural characteristics of a group of people. This can help to ease tensions and create a better experience for all involved. For example, in some cultures and religions, married women and men will not have any physical contact with other people of the opposite sex. If I know this, I would not extend my hand to shake the hand of a married woman.

The biggest disadvantage is that not everybody will fit the perceived characteristics of a group of people. This can lead to embarrassing situations and create misunderstandings and misrepresentations. There have been many instances where people have made inaccurate conclusions, as individuals assumed a person would fit the...

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