Prototype An Advantage Or Disadvantage? Essay

990 words - 4 pages

As humans, we have a natural tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and ignore contrary evidence. We also fear what we can’t control because dramatic events are readily available to memory and they shape our perceptions of risk. These readily available memories can be stimulated when reminded of a concept that links to the dramatic event. We often form our concept by developing prototypes. Prototypes provide a quick and easy method for sorting items into categories. Unfortunately, prototypes can also be used towards racial discrimination. When we have a prototype of a particular ethnic group we tend to categorize the whole ethnic group to that prototype; ...view middle of the document...

Another example of prototype in the movie is the child’s prototype of a mother. A child believes that a mother is someone who is caring, nurturing, and supportive; luckily, the servants are their caretaker and the servants also resemble their prototype of a mother. My example is demonstrated in the movie, when the white mother Elizabeth Leefolt hits her baby daughter who goes running to the black servant and says “you’re my mother.”
We more eagerly seek out and favor evidence verifying our ideas than evidence refuting them. Confirmation bias is when we search for information that support our preconception and to ignore or distort contradictory evidence (Myers, 2011). For instance, in the movie “The Help” (Columbus, Barnathan, Green, & Taylor, 2011) the main character Skeeter Phelan believed that her beloved childhood maid Constantine got fired by her mother instead of believing that the maid retired. Skeeter was confident that something had caused Constantine to leave because she would not have left without writing a letter to her. Throughout the movie, skeeter questions other maids about Constantine and her where about. Later, skeeter confronted her mother who reveals that she fired Constantine in order to save her own reputation in front of the other white women during a reception. Skeeter always knew something happened which effected Constantine’s’ sudden leave and when she went out in search for the answer she only inquired about information which supported her belief.
As humans we have a natural tendency to stick to our beliefs even if were wrong. Belief perseverance is when we cling to our beliefs in the face of contrary evidence (Myers, 2011). For example, the racist character Hilly Holbrook tries to convince her white female friends to ban any black servant from using their white employer's washroom. She argues that black servants are dirty and therefore they carry a contagious disease which can be transferred to the white recipient if the servant uses the same toilet. However, Hilly ignores the fact that the white...

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