Through sense perception, we receive incredible amounts of different stimuli, and we as human beings, tend to group these stimuli so that we can learn to distinguish one thing from another. For example, we know an orange is an orange because of certain determined characteristics such as its orange skin colour, the fact that it comes from an orange tree, its texture, its taste and its shape. We also more generally group the oranges into a wider group called the citrics, and this into a wider one called the fruits, etc
Opposed to specific objects, plants and animals, human beings cannot be that easily categorized, as human behavior does not only depend on survival-based, immediate responses, or a series of unchangeable characteristics that make a distinction between a certain type of person and another. The human brain’s prefrontal cortex is a component that no other animal has, and it is believed that complex cognitive behavior, personality and social control are located there.
We are conscious of ourselves and our environment, and we have the ability to interpret our surroundings through language, sense perception, reason and emotion. However, although these are tools to interpret our surroundings, they can also be obstacles in our endeavor to acquire a clearer vision of our surroundings as for example, emotion can drown reason, reason can lose its significance if it doesn’t consider emotion, our perception might deceive us, and language’s inaccuracies in describing the world might lead to deep misunderstandings.
Also, there are many reality filters such as media, moral, education, society, religion and emotion. Even though human beings are so complex, and their behavior depends on so many things, people are often categorized and grouped… just like oranges. Consequently, a man can be categorized by some, according to this man’s clothes, and because of that, a whole lot of assumptions are instantly made, such as the type of music this man must listen to, the political views he must have, etc.
This guess of the man’s personality, is a pragmatic hasty generalization, because probably the one making the assumption knows a few people that dress in that particular way who happen to share political viewpoints and musical taste. Or even worst, one can just assume people classification by appearance is accurate because society and TV dictate it, and this would be authority worship. Society imposes that one must have a determined personality, and that he who changes his or her behavior in the presence of different people, is a hypocrite.