The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







In modern usage, stereotype is an oversimplified mental picture of some group of people who are sharing a certain characteristic (or stereotypical) qualities. The term is thus often used in a negative sense, with stereotypes being seen by many as illogical yet deeply held beliefs that can only be changed through education.

Common stereotypes of the past included a variety of allegations about various racial groups (see: racial stereotype and racial profiling) and predictions of behavior based on social status and wealth (See social stereotype).

In literature and art, stereotypes are clichéd or predictable characters or situations. For example, the stereotypical devil is a red, impish character with horns and a pitchfork.

Originally a stereotype was an impression taken from a form of movable lead type and used for printing instead of the original type. This was generalized into a metaphor for repeating a set of ideas identically with no changes (as would have been possible in a form of movable type).


Common stereotypical characters

See also


External links

  • The psychological and social role of stereotypes
  • Suite 101: Shark Tale stereotypes troubling: CNYU Professor

In computing

In computing, a stereotype is a concept in the Unified Modeling Language, where it is used to encapsulate behaviors. Thus, a stereotype is used as a vehicle for communicating software requirements and designs, and lacks the negative connotation present in general usage.

Last updated: 02-07-2005 07:56:32
Last updated: 05-02-2005 11:54:01