School House Rock Business Series #1
The common misconception between stereotyping and profiling.
A stereotype is “…a fixed, over generalized belief about a particular group or class of people.” Stereotyping is judging someone based upon oversimplified standards or prejudice.
Stereotypes are rooted into our subconscious. They are created by the brain as shortcuts, to quickly classify groups or data based on similar or historical experience.
The downside of stereotypes? They make it very easy for us to ignore the differences between individuals; therefore we think things about people that might not be true.
Profiling is “…the recording and analysis of a person’s psychological and behavioral characteristics, so as to assess or predict their capabilities in a certain sphere; or to assist in identifying a particular subgroup of people.” Profiling identifies tendencies used for rational decision making in social science.
Neither Stereotyping nor Profiling represent 100% accuracy of a subgroup.
Based on these definitions no doubt there is a very fine line between stereotypes and profiles. The distinguishing factors are how it is used, for what purpose, and without personal bias.
A simple rule of thumb — use it for good and for its intended purpose — not evil to pass judgement or outside of its contextual purpose.
Best example between stereotyping and profiling is MIB’s “Little Tiffany”; click here to view the clip on YouTube.
The Variegate Group specializes in establishing the right mood & forum for difficult discussions that bolster healthy dialog and understanding. To learn more about us go to www.variegategroup.com.