I am prejudiced and employ stereotype thinking. Just like you.
I like steak and am not well-disposed to lamb. I suppose the lamb industry will find that reprehensible behaviour. I like single malt scotch and do not love bourbon. Jack Daniels will likely be on the line by the end of today. I am prejudiced against almost all seafood. I see my prejudice to be a preference based upon objective evidence derived from matching my tastes to what is available in the world.
I feel no compulsion to like all things equally.
I see stereotypes as life simplifying assumptions. I know they are generalities and may apply to no individual situation. They make the initial response easier for me and since I like easy, they are good.
My stereotypes include
- People in banks who you meet at the counter are under informed for any but the simplest transactional matter. I once had one tell me that an equity linked GIC returned interest based on the performance of “a bunch of blue collar stocks.”
- Life insurance companies, and probably other insurers too, rely on the words and write the words to suit their needs. People don’t trust them. Back in the 1890s when non-forfeiture options, cash value is one, became law, congress required that if a policy did not have non-forfeiture options, it must say so and be printed in red ink within the policy. One major life insurer commenced printing all of their policies completely in red ink. Hard to trust.
- All politicians, when speaking about political issues, lie. Except Allan Lawrence. He once told one of my children that the only unemployment a politician cared about was his own.
- The last place you should look for objective information is network news.
- Organized religion is contra to the idea of spirituality and is likely close to a conspiracy theory.
- 99% of lawyers give the other 1% a bad name.
- Most people who say they are liberal or socialist are in fact power hungry. Bossy if that feels warmer.
- Car company warranties protect them more than they protect me.
I know that not all people in these categories are the way I portray the group, but I must start somewhere with a new person. It is my default setting. What does it all mean?
To me it means that every stereotype has a basis in fact. To say that a stereotype is wrong because it is stereotypical is illogical. There is a rather long article on that subject. Truth in Stereotypes.
Life simplifying assumptions and preferences make the world livable on a day to day basis. Evidence that says stereotypes are always wrong is unavailable. Probably because there is none. It is okay to have prejudices and to make early value judgements. So long as you stop relying on them when contradictory evidence appears.
Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario. In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.
Please be in touch if I can help you. firstname.lastname@example.org 866-285-7772