The Ugly American

  • Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries


It is easy, sometimes almost automatic, to put groups of people into categories. It simplifies our lives. Take Europe, and its myriad stereotypes, as an example. In a tongue-in-cheek way, hell has been described as a place where the Germans are the policemen, the British are the cooks, the French are the mechanics, the Swiss are the lovers, the Swedes are the comedians, the Dutch are the fashion designers, the Greeks run the government, and the Italians organize everything. This whimsical illustration shows that stereotyping is a relatively quick if reductionist way to understand the behavior of others. As a cognitive and emotive short cut, it reduces the amount of mental processing we have to do by relying on simplistic generalizations.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
    • 1
  1. 1.INSEADFontainebleauFrance

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