College Essay Examples



The Ted talk is based on the social-psychological principle of social categorization and stereotyping. Social categorization refers to the natural cognitive process of placing people into social groups. Social categorization arises when individuals perceive others as either male verse female, old versus young, Black versus White or Asian and many more. Similarly, objects are categorized into different types; humans are also grouped regarding their social membership. The moment that occurs, everyone starts to recognize these persons as members of a specific social set up than as individuals (Kite & Benard 2016)

Goliath presents himself to the battlefield for any brave Israelite to face him in the infantry war. King Soul becomes weary and promises the Israelites gifts to whoever shall face the gigantic Philistine, Goliath and kill him. David reports to King Soul that he is ready to battle with Goliath. King Soul tells David to be too young to fight Goliath, who is highly experienced in warfare. David tells him that he is brave enough to face Goliath, for he has been responsible for his father’s flock, and whenever a wild animal attacks them, he kills the wild animal with his bare hands. King Soul has categorized David as too young to fight on a battlefield, while Goliath is highly experienced in warfare. Social categorization takes instantly without a single thought from King Soul.

Social categorization disrupts perceptions to the level of exaggerating the variations between individuals from various social setups and concurrently viewing members of a group to be more alike to one another than they are. This general thought increases the probability of handling and thinking about all members of a group similarly. Once members of a group begin to be seen as a replica of one another than they could probably be, stereotypes begin to be applied to the members without considering the validity of the trait on the specific person. Stereotypes are memory images of a given social group. The stereotypes most often seem to be right and general despite always being distorted summations (Burch-Brown & William 2016)

King Soul looks at David and sees a mere shepherd who cannot fight the mighty Goliath. King Soul even goes to the extent of giving David his amour to fight Goliath effectively. Shepherds hardly come to the battlefield, and King Soul is amazed by the courage David moves forward to fight Goliath. He even advises him not to fight, fearing for his life, but David insists that he can fight Goliath. Goliath sets his eyes at David and sees a young man carrying a stick. In Goliath’s mind, it is the stick that David is carrying that is the only weapon David has against him. He does not view David as potentially harmful; therefore, he commands him to move forward to be fed to the birds of the air. Goliath never thought that David could be wise enough to hide a dangerous stone; instead, he only thought of David as naive and could not fight effectively.  

Society is educated on stereotypes and prejudices through a myriad of processes. The numerous methodologies of stereotypes and prejudices enhance their chances to be easily understood than to be changed. For instance, stereotypes are learnt through information from parents and peers and from behaviours reflected in the media, novels and even Bible. Even children five years old have an understanding of cultural norms and physical, age and race stereotypes. Occasionally, there exists an agreement on social group stereotypes for persons of a particular culture. Upon establishment, stereotypes tend to preserve similar to other cognitive representations. In other circumstances, stereotypes persist due to the short memory of information that aligns to the stereotype than one that does not. Generally, stereotypes cannot be easily changed by individuals since they have become a significant component of man’s daily life and culture (Monteith, Parker & Burns 2016)

Ted attempts to interpret the mystery contained in the David and Goliath stereotype. In the biblical story of David and Goliath, none of the Israelite or the Philistine imagined David would kill Goliath. David only carried a stick in his hand but would later remove a stone and a sling to hit Goliath’s head. Ancient warfare history states that slingers were the decisive factors against infantry war due to their incredible accuracy. David was quite sure that the stone would hit Goliath’s head to death. The stones in the valley of Elah were not normal rocks but Barium Sulphate, which was rocks twice the density of normal stones that, when sent using a slinger, travels at a higher speed to hit the target. 

The stereotype does not only misunderstand David and his choice of weapon but also misunderstands Goliath. The Bible is in a retrospective puzzle by fist outlining Goliath to be guided to the valley by an attendant, moves slowly and takes a longer time to react to David. David comes down the valley with no preparations for a hand to hand combat as expected by Goliath. Medical research into Goliath’s abnormalities associates him with acromegaly, unique gigantism caused by a benign tumour on the pituitary gland. The acromegaly could have impaired his vision hence the slow movement. Therefore the stereotype of David becoming a hero in killing the giant Goliath could be prejudice.


Works Cited

Burch-Brown, Joanna, and William Baker. “Religion and reducing prejudice.” Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 19.6 (2016): 784-807.

Kite, Mary E., and Bernard E. Whitley Jr. Psychology of prejudice and discrimination. Psychology Press, 2016.

Monteith, Margo J., Laura R. Parker, and Mason D. Burns. “The self-regulation of prejudice.” (2016).

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