Images and portrayals of groups in the mass media reinforce our automatic tendency to interpret information in a stereotypical way, even if we are not aware of it. Therefore the media only exacerbates the problem of prejudice and discrimination, making it harder to eliminate the problem entirely.
I do believe that the way we process new information is somewhat automatic, such as with stereotypes that have already been embedded in our minds. The media plays a big role in all of this, as we are subject to a 1,000-3,000 media images per day, as discussed in class. The media affects anyone no matter who you are; endorsers or non endorsers of stereotypes. It is how we work against them that can make a difference.
Question to the class: Have you ever found yourself drawing conclusions about a social group, even if you did not agree with the automatic stereotype? If yes, have you found it hard to work around the stereotype once they’ve been activated?