a perception of a person or thing that applies those attributes most commonly associated with the group that such person or thing belongs to, regardless of whether that perception is true. This word has gained a negative connotation and is more commonly associated with discrimination, when in reality it is a natural mechanism used by people to better understand the world. This is why when someone says "hockey player" you think of a white guy, or "rapper" and you think of a black guy, or "city" and you think of things like skyscrapers.
Stereotypes are often good and helpful things, but discrimination on the basis of prejudice/stereotypes often has negative effects.
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