OtherPapers.com - Other Term Papers and Free Essays

Psychological Impact

Free Essays Psychological Impact and over other 25,000+ free term papers, essays and research papers examples are available on the website!

Autor:   •  July 23, 2011  •  1,787 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,365 Views

Page 1 of 8

Psychological Impact

An individual's makeup consists of multicultural concepts and influences on values and beliefs. Sociopolitical factors affect individual's behavior, personal life, and workplace. Stereotyping, racism, and immigration affect culturally diverse individuals. These three sociopolitical factors have many similarities in the way they affect individuals. In this paper the subject to discuss is the potential impact of stereotyping, racism, and immigration on an individual. Stereotyping refers to possessing a preconceived idea about someone or something. Racism judges someone based on his or her race and the belief that one race is superior to another. Immigration embraces a person or family moving from one country to another and establishing a new life in a new country.


Stereotyping by definition means to take one's own idea of what he or she believes about a person or a group of people and generalizes that idea to an entire faction of people. Stereotyping does not allow individuality, personality, morals, or other internal concepts that could explain one's motivation. The focus of stereotyping embellishes the diversity between groups. Stereotyping affects psychological development, produces distress, and impacts behavior.

Psychological development includes cognitive, emotional, intellectual, and social abilities as a child develops into adulthood through old age. Stereotyping stifles the ability for one to learn, to express self, to experience life without prejudice. Parents, family, friends, and others influence a child by passing on ideas, morals, values, beliefs, whether positive, or negative. As the child grows the stereotypes grows. Stereotyping on all levels influences a person's choices. A child will grow up judging a group, perceiving positive or negative feelings and actions toward the group based on what he or she learned growing up. This causes conflict in a person's personal life, work career, and the world around him or her. The results could include emotional stress, angry, loss of job, loss of friendships, but the most negative effect includes the loss of discovery about a group or a person who he or she never tried to know.

The impact of stereotyping causing distress embraces emotional stress showing symptoms such as angry, anxiety, avoidance, depression, and panic attacks. History contains many hate groups such as Klu Klux Klan, who hate African Americans and refuse to socialize with them on any level. They believed in white supremacy. Watching this group shows the hatred expressed verbally and the physical manifestation. Stereotyping causes a person to only see something his or her way. The person puts up boundaries around him or her and refuses to see anything different from what he or she believes. Distress affects the emotional part of a person but often results in physical symptoms such as pain.

Stereotyping affects behaviors when the person becomes rigid in his or her thinking and overgeneralizes. Sometimes a person believes strongly, and this can cause him or her to act inappropriately. One form of behavior, antilocution, ranges from negative talk to playing harmless jokes that frequently upset a person and cause hard feelings. Other behaviors include isolation and avoidance of the minority group. A serious behavior involves harming or preventing a minority group from achieving a goal such as a job or education. Another serious behavior, physical harm includes such as things as lynching, tar and feathering, and pogroms. Finally, the worse behavior depicted by stereotyping includes the attempted elimination of an entire group of people, for example Hitler and the Jews, Native Americans, or the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. Behavior demonstrates the inappropriate actions taken by those that believe their way of thinking is superior.


According to Dictionary Definition, "racism" means "belief in or doctrine asserting racial differences in character, intelligence, etc. and the superiority of one race over another or others: racist doctrine also, typically, seeks to maintain the supposed purity of a race or the races." Positive racism requires negative racism toward others: racial pride and affiliation becomes malicious toward those not part of the race in question. Negative racism defined as racism against certain races includes the attempt to eradicate of a race as a source of social identity, special or favored treatment and policy (Garcia, 2010).

Psychological development continues through a person's lifespan. Studies show infants prefer faces consistent with their environment. By age three, a child demonstrates knowledge of bias in-group attitudes. A study dividing three-year-olds into two groups of red and blue, each receiving different treatment, demonstrated the child's preference to be included in the in-group. By transferring this information, the conclusion reached establishes three-year-olds identify racial and ethnic differences. The more information parents, grandparents, and others in the group pass onto the child, the stronger the development of the race values. Parents pass on their experiences whether positive or negative. Children will learn and react to the life lessons taught by parents.

Stress caused by racism depends on the person; his or her knowledge, background, and attitude about racism. A parent's lessons taught to his or her child on racism depend on his or her personal experience. Parent's personal experience plays an important part in how his or her children will perceive racism. Parents with a higher education and economic status, statistically educate his or her children about racial issues (Hall, 2010).

A person will experience greater distress by denying or ignoring racism. Common symptoms include depression, anxiety, and lower self-esteem. Denying or underestimating an encounter with a racist, intensifies the distress, and makes the experience worse. One study examined common forms of discrimination such as being ignored, ridiculed, or treated differently. Although the common forms appear to be trivial, cumulatively the acts have a profound effect on a person's mental health. A person experiencing racism needs to


Download as:   txt (12 Kb)   pdf (139.6 Kb)   docx (13.4 Kb)  
Continue for 7 more pages »