Stereotypes are considered to be a group concept, held by one social group about another. They are often used in a negative or prejudicial sense and are frequently used to justify certain discriminatory behaviours. More benignly, they may express sometimes-accurate folk wisdom about social reality.
Often a stereotype is a negative caricature or inversion of some positive characteristic possessed by members of a group, exaggerated to the point where it becomes repulsive or ridiculous.
Stereotype production is based on:
|Exaggeration or distortion|
|Presentation of cultural attributes as being "natural"|
Stereotypes are seen by many as undesirable beliefs which can be altered through education and/or familiarization. However, stereotypes need not be confined to negative characterizations about individuals or groups; they can also have positive characterizations.