The First Thanksgiving 1621
, oil on canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1899). The painting shows common misconceptions about the event: Pilgrims
did not wear such outfits, and the Wampanoag are dressed in the style of Native Americans
from the Great Plains
A stereotype is an idea or belief many people have about a thing or group that is based upon how they look on the outside, which may be untrue or only partly true. Stereotyping people is a type of prejudice because what is on the outside is a small part of who a person is. Stereotypes might be used as reasons to discriminate against another person, or sometimes for a humorous effect in many television programmes.
The term was invented in the late 18th century for a method of printing. In the middle 19th century it meant the faithful duplication of pictures. It got a psychological meaning in the 20th century.
Images for kids
An 18th-century Dutch engraving of the peoples of the world, depicting the inhabitants of Asia, the Americas and Africa as savages. Shown below are an Englishman, a Dutchman, a German and a Frenchman.
Police officers buying doughnuts and coffee, an example of perceived stereotypical behavior in North America.
Only boys playing video games exemplifies a common stereotype that video games are predominantly made for and played by boys.
Stereotype content model, adapted from Fiske et al. (2002): Four types of stereotypes resulting from combinations of perceived warmth and competence.
An anti-semitic 1873 caricature depicting the stereotypical physical features of a Jewish male.
The effect of stereotype threat (ST) on math test scores for girls and boys. Data from Osborne (2007).
American political cartoon titled The Usual Irish Way of Doing Things, depicting a drunken Irishman lighting a powder keg and swinging a bottle. Published in Harper's Weekly, 1871.