How Mindfulness Can Quash Stereotypes

April 1, 2015 8:36 PM

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How Mindfulness Can Quash Stereotypes

ˈsterēəˌtīp (n.) A method of printing from a plate, France 1798. The word 'stereotype,' which originates from the Greek word stereos (solid) and French word type (type) is used today to categorize people into a specific group, typically based on their sex, age or race. Of course there are many more stereotypes we use today, to the extent of categorizing someone based on the particular region of a city in which they live (Valley Girl, anyone?). Why do we even have stereotypes? Are they hardwired into our brain or are they merely a societal construct? And is there a way to break free from stereotyping and be more mindful about our preconceptions of others?

According to evolutionary psychologists, we make assumptions within a fraction of a second about three main characteristics of a person: sex, age and race. Since race is a relatively new novelty (after all, skin color only changed to adapt to varying UV levels after early humans left the African sav...

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