Why do we generalize people?

Generalization is an essential tool that helps us better understand the world. If all people and objects around us were totally unlike each other, it would be impossible for us to anticipate their properties and build relations. But everything around us has some common properties, the likeness that helps us generalize similar features and make conclusions based on our experience. Generalization helps us differentiate between races, cultures, ethnic groups etc.
If we do an uninformed overgeneralization, it turns into stereotypes. Judging by the superficial qualities, we may come to assumptions that are wrong. Stereotyping usually concerns sexuality, personality, character traits, and other features that we cannot define merely looking at the person. We can generalize a dark-skinned person as an individual of African descent, but to classify them as an African citizen would be a stereotype.
Generalization is useful because it helps us draw conscious and analytical conclusions. It allows us to find connections that make people and objects similar. Unlike stereotypes, generalization is not reactive and can hardly mislead us in our statements.

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