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What are the effects of stereotyping in personal, academic, and work situations?

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Some effects of stereotypes in personal, academic, and work situations include creating misunderstandings between individuals and placing a limit on opportunities for the people the stereotype portrays. Stereotypes can become embedded in many aspects of society and most often affect minorities.

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Stereotyping may negatively influence thoughts and behavior in personal, academic, and work situations. If an individual has a preconceived notion about someone’s personality based on their appearance, heritage, or gender, then they might overlook or discredit important qualities that do not fit the stereotype. An example would be new neighbors in a community. If people have assumptions about each other’s preferences, they might act out of that implicit bias, such as hesitating to ask them to join an activity or making a derogatory statement without the conscious intention of doing so.

In academics, assumptions about interests and talents may inadvertently influence a teacher or counselor to suggest a particular class or program of study. The classic gendered example is STEM, in which females remain under-represented and were career fields almost exclusively reserved for males until recently.

These kinds of biases have an impact in the workplace as well. Along with stereotypes about men having more analytical minds than women, popular stereotypes also portray women as overly competitive with each other and lacking leadership capabilities. In both academics and employment, such attitudes contribute to perpetuating the glass ceiling for women. In Silicon Valley, similar stereotypes about Asians and Asian Americans have contributed to excluding them from top-level leadership, or hitting what is sometimes termed "the bamboo ceiling."

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