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INTERPERSONAL PERCEPTION Stereotyping Describe and evaluate the psychological explanations and research evidence concerning social perception Interpersonal perception fits under the umbrella of social perception and is basically our general perception of others It can be defined as the study of how the layperson or amateur psychologist uses theory and data in understanding people Judy Gahagan 1984 Interpersonal perception is concerned with how we attempt to explain and predict the behaviour of other people and goes further to deal with how we form impressions of and make inferences about these people Such impressions can be formed through stereotyping for example and are easier explained through the appliance of theory Stereotyping is taken to mean the fixed narrow pictures in our head generally resistant to change They are simplistic generalisations about particular groups or classes of people and are often negative and unflattering sometimes underlying prejudice and discrimination However stereotypes are not necessarily false assumptions and often contain a grain of truth A stereotype must be a widely shared set of beliefs and so further reinforces the fact that some degree of truth or accuracy is evident The IMPLICIT PERSONALITY THEORY is reflected in stereotyping as this theory is concerned with the assumptions that people make about which personality traits are associated with which others eg ambitious people are also hard working Deborah Holder The Guardian agrees with this as she write in her article A rose by any other name In implicit personality theory a single item of information about a person will generate inferences about other aspects of that persons character The theory describes how people can then relate such theories to entire social groups These are referred to as implicit assumptions theories because generally there is no evidence that such inferences have any substance and indeed people seem to hold no conscious awareness that they even exist According to the implicit personality theory stereotyping can
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