Diversity Exercise: Stereotyping

Diversity Exercise: Stereotyping


In this exercise, delegates examine stereotypes and understand the implications of stereotyping. It helps them to discover on their own that stereotyping is highly subjective.


Identify the description of a number of stereotypes and share that view with those of others.

What You Need

  • “Stereotyping questionnaire” for each delegate


  • Explain stereotyping if you haven’t done it already.
    • Stereotyping is assuming that all members of a particular group match the characteristics of the individual you have seen.
  • Distribute the questionnaires to all delegates.
  • Ask them to fill in the details based on their views.
  • Allocate 10 minutes for this part.
  • Bring back everyone together and go through the cases one by one and ask each delegate to present their description.
  • Expect the descriptions to have similarities, but also differences. The fact that there are differences between opinions strongly suggests that stereotypes are not universal and are subjective.
  • Follow with a discussion.


Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes.

Activity: 10 min activity + 10 min sharing = 20 minutes

Group Feedback: 5 minutes.


What did you learn in this exercise? What do you think when the stereotype of something is widely different from person to person? What does this tell you about your own stereotyping? How can you avoid it?

Lesson learned: Stereotyping is subjective, not universal.



Stereotyping Questionnaire

Identify the following stereotypes:





A businessman





A rich person




A typical person your age




A poor person




A smart student




A stubborn person




A young mother




An old person




A foreigner




A stock trader




A bus driver




A singer






Dilip Basu

By Dilip Basu @ Saturday, March 27, 2010 9:45 AM

Good one and could be excellent if bit more explanation about "your own stereotyping". However thanx a lot.

Gian Prakash

By Gian Prakash @ Wednesday, August 3, 2011 6:23 PM

I suppose the stereotyping would depend upon if we are looking at small businessman, medium sized businessman and big businessman; similarly for the rich and very rich; young mother could be working or housewife (before being blessed with the child); Stubborn person again whether one's child or a colleague; and in India a foreigner from North America/Europe and Middle East of Africa are perceived in different frame; and like that it goes on.


By Charlesetta @ Tuesday, September 20, 2011 6:10 PM

I love this activity it was very helpful in my classes of college freshman. it allowed them to see themselves in a different manner.

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