Categorizing or grouping people is a common, natural thing to do; people have a fundamental need to belong to a group because it gives a sense of order, direction, and connection to others. But this tendency means that human beings are naturally prone to divide the world into us-and-them categories.
To get a better idea about how stereotypes develop, go to and read Where Bias Begins: The Truth about Stereotypes. Be sure to take notes on what you read so that you can answer these questions:
- What is automatic or implicit stereotyping?
- What type of test is used to find a person’s hidden bias?
- What has been the startling phenomenon revealed by this test?
- What has been the contribution of the cognitive approach to our understanding of stereotyping?
- From what do stereotypes emerge?
- Where does bias begin?
- Do you agree with Dr. Dovidio’s assertion that free will does not exist?
- Where does the solution to automatic stereotyping lie?
Now, go to the Persuasion Map on the ReadWriteThink website. Work as a team to complete the map, an online tool to help you organize your thoughts in preparation for the debate on age-related stereotypes.
Access the Persuasion Map by entering your name and title. Follow the prompts on the screen to enter evidence that supports your particular argument (i.e., "for" or "against" a particular age-related stereotype), and be sure to print the map when you're finished.
This esheet is a part of the Understanding Stereotypes lesson.