▪ The categorization of individuals into groups can serve some useful purposes. If the individuals being grouped are heterogeneous, however, the categories used are likely to be flawed. Thus, any resulting generalizations are also flawed, especially when applied to a given individual in a group. The most serious attendant dangers can be misplaced pride, misguided prejudice, and unfair discrimination. The categorization of physicians according to their original medical training and the generalizations that result are examined here. The principles advanced could also be applied to many other forms of categorization.
Varki A. Of Pride, Prejudice, and Discrimination: Why Generalizations Can Be Unfair to the Individual. Ann Intern Med. ;116:762–764. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-116-9-762
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1992;116(9):762-764.
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