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individuality of people papers

Implicit personality theory is defined as something which makes people function as an individual. A particular form of implicit personality theory looks at how personality is structured and what traits tend to go together or cluster. This is referred to by Zebrowitz as ?person type?.

Research has shown that an individuals name is part of the central core of the self-image. This can sometimes form a basis for other expectations. Harari & Mcdavid pointed out that first names, like surnames are often associated with particular characteristics, partly determined by the media. Harari and Mcdavid asked experienced teachers to evaluate a set of short essays which had been written by 11 year olds who were identified by their first name only. Some essays were randomly associated with four names, stereotyped by other teachers as attractive and favorable. Certain names were deemed as attractive and favorable and some names were deemed as unattractive and unfavorable. Research into the marking of the children?s essays showed that the children with the names that had been deemed unattractive were given a lesser mark than those whose names had been deemed as attractive. Research also shown that the effect was stronger with boys names than it was with girls names.

Another form of implicit personality theory looks at peoples? appearance. It is the view of psychologists that what a person is like psychologically can be determined by what they look like just as easily as talking to them. Allport showed some clear examples of beliefs that people who are fat are jollier than people who are thin, people with high foreheads are a sign of superior intelligence, people with eyes which are close together is a sign of untrustworthiness and redheads have a fiery temper.

There have been a number of studies which have demonstrated the ?attractive stereotype?, that is, the tendency to infer that physically attractive people also have more attractive personalities.
Stereotypes are said to be a special kind of inter personality theory. It is said to be a theory that is related to ensure social group. The stereotype term was introduced into the social sciences by Lippman . He defined a stereotype as a picture in our heads which we see when we think about someone or something.

An example of a study of ethnic stereotypes comes from Katz & Braly
One hundred undergraduates at Princeton University in the USA were presented with a list of ethnic groups. The list was made up of Americans, Jews, Negroes, Turks, Germans, Chinese, Irish, English, Italians and Japanese and 84 words describing personality. The people were asked to list five or six traits which were common to each of the ethnic groups. The aim was to find out whether traditional social stereotypes (as typically portrayed in papers and magazines) were actually held by the Princeton students. In all considerable agreement was shown especially about the negative traits, and most disturbingly many of the students who took part in the experiment had had no personal contact with many of the ethnic groups featured in the experiment.

The presumption can therefore be made that their opinion of these people was gained through the media or the opinions of others.

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