The notion and essence of the stereotype

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People’s perceiving of each other is realized in the light of the formed stereotypes.

Meeting with the representatives of other peoples and cultures, people usually have a natural inclination to perceive their behavior from the positions of their culture, and measure them against their own yardstick.

Not understanding of the foreign language, the symbology of gestures, mime and other elements of behavior often lead to distorted interpretation of the sense of their actions which easily gives birth to a huge number of the negative feelings: vigilance, scorn and hostility. As a result of such kind of intercultural or interethnic contacts there are the most typical features which are character for that or this people or culture and depending on these character features and qualities the given representatives are divided for different groups (categories).

So, gradually, the ethno-cultural stereotypes are formed, and they represent generalized ideas about the typical features which are character for some people or its culture.

The origin roots of stereotypes are in the objective conditions of people’s life for whom it is character the recurrence of monotonous life situations. This recurrence is fixed in the consciousness of a person in the shape of standard schemes and model of thinking. These homogeneous objects are fixed in images, estimations.

The psychological mechanism of stereotypes’ origin is based at the principle of forces economy which is intrinsic for everyday human’s thinking. The given principle means that people don’t aim to react at the surrounding notions every time in a new way, but they substantiate them with the existing categories.

Permanently the changing world is just overloading a person by the new information and psychologically it makes him classify this information into more comfortable and usual models which got the name “stereotypes”.

In these cases the cognitive process stays at the level of ordinary consciousness limited by the life experience which is actually based at generalization of typical for given sphere of notions. At the same time the surrounding world has the known elements of uniformity and repetition at which the steady reactions and ways of actions are formed and they have also the stereotype character.

Refusal from stereotypes would demand from a person the constant effort of attention and would turn all the process of his life into endless sequence of trials and errors. They help a person to differentiate and simplify the surrounding world.

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