We are all targets of other people’s stereotypes and prejudices. These may be based on how we look, how we talk, how we dress, where we come from, and so on. None of us is immune from having our work evaluated in a biased way, our motives questioned, or our attempts at making new friends rejected because of stereotypes and prejudices. But for the targets of some stereotypes and prejudices, these concerns are more relentless and profound. For them, there seem to be few safe havens. Social psychologists often refer to these targets as stigmatized— individuals who are targets of negative stereotypes, perceived as deviant, and devalued in society because they are members of a particular social group or because they have a particular characteristic. What are some of the effects of being stigmatized by stereotypes and prejudice?
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