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Definition: A stereotype is a rigid, oversimplified, often exaggerated belief that is applied both to an entire social category of people and to each individual within it. Stereotypes form the basis for prejudice, which in turn is used to justify discrimination and attitudes. They can be positive as well as negative.

Examples: The belief that people on public assistance are lazy is a stereotype.

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Crossman, Ashley. "Stereotype." ThoughtCo, Mar. 2, 2017, Crossman, Ashley. (2017, March 2). Stereotype. Retrieved from Crossman, Ashley. "Stereotype." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 22, 2018).