The purpose of this assignment is to encourage you to think about the perceptions you form about other people.
Your assignment will concentrate on “Stereotyping” as an aspect of the organizing step of the perception process as well as a factor in making snap judgments about other people. Therefore, you will:
Carefully observe a person–either a stranger or someone you know. (If you are observing a stranger, your observation will require at least 1/2 hour of observation–in a restaurant, for example.
Write down your observations (unobtrusively). This means that you are expected to record what you see, hear, and perceive. (At this point, you are recording, not analyzing. You will use your observations as the basis for your essay.)
Begin your essay by defining terms related to the perception process and stereotyping and citing the appropriate pages from your textbook.
In your essay, fully describe observed behaviors, actions, outcomes, etc.
Describe your perceptions of what took place.
Explain what factors influenced your perceptions. Focus on:
The “organization” step and the types of schema used to classify others.
The three characteristics that distinguish stereotypes from reasonable generalizations.
Analyze your interpretations and assumptions based on the textbook explanations of how human beings attach meaning to what we experience.
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