Why do you think people generalise so much?

The amount of subjectivity... Generalising just makes no sense so why do it?
Ok so some topics, generalisations can be somewhat accurate to an extent but in social situations why would people even bother?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Because we're only really able to get to know about 150 people. That's the size villages/tribes in early civilisation; and technology allowing travel and wider communication has evolved a lot faster than our brains. That's why groups such as military groupings tend to be about that size; because bigger groups aren't able to be as socially cohesive. Have a look at this, it's pretty interesting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number

    Therefore, in a world where we have to interact with so many more people than we're able to form complex relationships with, we have to find ways to interact that are more symbolic; categorise people so we feel like we know who to trust, how to 'read' strangers. People naturally like to categorise things anyway; we do it with people for the same reasons as with anything else really, as a way of understanding the world via our memories of past experiences as a way of predicting what might happen in the future.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • It's unavoidable, part of the way humans conceptualize anything, like analogy which also has problems when used carelessly.

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What Girls Said 1

  • people like to fit things in boxes so that it makes sense in their narrow minds.
    people who understand and ARE exceptions to generalisations will probably be the ones who realise it's not okay.

    they're kind of like the divergents in society lol.

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What Guys Said 3

  • Humans are wired to generalize.

    The question, "Why do you think people generalize so much?" is itself a generalization.

    The statement "generalizing makes no sense" is a generalization of generalizing.

    Your last statement about general application of generalization is also a generalization.

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  • Generalizations simplify llfe, reduce the inconvenient comlexity of life to proprtions we can understand. It is wise to remember that at some level all generalizions are false, including this one.

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  • In what concepts are you referring to? Also it's in our nature to generalize

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    • Why do you think it's in our nature? Just intrigued on thoughts.
      Hmm I'd say generalisations such as "this countrt is that, that country is this" etc

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    • Yeah it probably helps with keeping a tribe together as one is more likely to slaughter its enemies if they are generalized as monsters.

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