What is Stereotype, Why People Stereotype and also discuss the Seven Mental Processes to Prove Stereotypes?

Stereotypes (or "characterizations") are generalizations or assumptions that people make about the characteristics of all members of a group, based on an image (often wrong) about what people in that group are like. For example, one study of stereotypes revealed that Americans are generally considered to be friendly, generous, and tolerant, but also arrogant, impatient, and domineering. Asians, on the other hand, are expected to be shrewd and alert, but reserved. Clearly, not all Americans are friendly and generous; and not all Asians are reserved. But according to this study, others commonly perceive them this way.
Why People Stereotype
Stereotypes are used to determine ready behaviors towards individuals belonging to different social categories. If we try to process the information about every individual in all situations, it will become highly inefficient. Stereotypes are part of human cognition and they are an important component of human relations and interpersonal conflict. The understanding of stereotyping can help avoid conflict and also towards resolving the interpersonal conflict.
The effect of stress and situational complexity; the more stressful the situation, the more likely it is that stereotyping will occur Interpersonal conflict tends to be an inherently stressful and complex situation that tends to impose a high degree of cognitive load. Fatigue, illness, hunger, and intense emotion; personal factors contribute to cognitive load.
It also affects the propensity to stereotype.
• Unfamiliarity with the other person
 • Unfamiliarity with the racial, ethnic, religious, or other social group
 • Social group salience
• Strong category is a social category associated with a particularly strong likelihood of stereotypes application.
• Strong categories tend to be those associated with obvious physical attributes and rigid social roles. (Gender roles is an example)
Seven Mental Processes to Prove Stereotypes
Processes and stereotype reinforcement: Individuals may hold their own unique stereotypes Processes of stereotype confirmation: People of a belief tend to confirm group’s stereotypes.
1. Ignoring
2. Explaining away
3. Memory intrusions (memories of things that didn’t happen)
4. Selective weighting processes
 5. Stereotype over interpretation
 6. Stereotype-consistent perception
 7. Active processes that confirm stereotypes