Here's the definition from Webster.com:
This definition clearly reflects the popular perception of stereotypes as inaccurate and negative overgeneralizations. The only problem is that this popular perception, much like the image below is mostly inaccurate.
"a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment"
illustration by Allan Lorde by Allan Lorde
Sure, there are people like the follow in the cartoon, but most of us who have stereotypical thoughts (which is to say, all of us) have very different notions of groups we stereotype than the stereotyped stereotype-holder above. I wrote up the specifics for an edited book on race and ethnicity, but only have permission to post it on my Psychology Today blog.
Please click here to read the full article.