Psychological Self-Help

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involve role expectations, i.e. how we expect the other person (or group,
such as Japanese) to behave and relate to us and to other people. Our culture
has hundreds of ready-made stereotypes: leaders are often seen as
dominant, arrogant men; housewives are nice but empty headed; teenagers
are music crazed car-fanatics; very smart people are over-confident and
socially weird, and on and on. Of course, sometimes a leader or housewife or
teenager is somewhat like the stereotype but it is a gross injustice to
automatically assume they are all alike. Stereotypes are used by major
groups to communicate the expected behaviors of their own subgroups, e.g.
students in a particular school system may have stereotypes of “jocks,”
“nerds,” “brains,” “cheerleaders,” “preppies,” “delinquents,” “druggies,” and
so on. Cultures have their social and literary stereotypes, such as “the old
maid teacher,” “the salesman,” “the professor,” “the gay man,” “the soccer
mom”, etc.
Prejudice, in the form of negative put-downs, justifies oppression and
helps those of us "on top" (the advantaged) feel okay about being there.
Prejudice can be a hostile, resentful feeling--an unfounded dislike for
someone, an unfair blaming or degradation of others. It is a degrading
attitude that helps us feel superior or chauvinistic. Of course, the misjudged
and oppressed person resents the unfair judgment. Discrimination (like
aggression) is an act of dealing with one person or group differently than
another. One may be positively or negatively biased towards a person or
group; this behavior does not necessarily reflect the attitude (prejudice) one
feels towards that person or group. You might recognize your prejudiced
feelings are unreasonable and refuse to act in unfair ways. Common
unfavorable prejudices in our country involve blacks, women, Jews, Arabs,
Japanese, Germans, people on welfare, rich, farmers, rednecks, obese,
handicapped, unattractive, uneducated, elderly, Catholics, Communists,
atheists, fundamentalists, homosexuals, Latinos, Indians, and lots of others. 
Theorists trying to explain prejudices use the concepts of cognitions,
emotions, and motivations in complex ways. Sometimes the different aspects
of prejudice are expressed this way: Stereotypes are the cognitive (negative
thoughts and beliefs) aspects of an attitude; prejudice provides the emotional
drive to aggress against or neglect certain people; discrimination provides a
way to act against disliked persons or groups. Stereotypes usually
characterize out groups in terms of (1) friendliness or warmth and (2) how
able or competent they are. That is: are strangers likely to be friends or foes?
And how able, powerful, and resourceful are they? It is easy to see why we
gravitate toward people like us. They are less likely to harm us. Social
psychology is a very important discipline. If you want to know more, Susan
Fiske (2004) has done systematic, long-term research about prejudice,
stereotypes and many social motives.
Unconscious prejudice
In order to make these concepts of stereotypes and prejudice more relevant
(http://www.understandingprejudice.org) by Scott Plous (2002). This site
offers articles about prejudice, a list of experts and organizations in this area,
interactive exercises to increase self-awareness, ads for his anthology, and,
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