New Word: “Variegated” and In-Group/Out-Group Bias

November 29, 2015 Tagged with: words

An adjective which seems to related originally to colors:

Varied in appearance or color; marked with patches or spots of different colors; varied; diversified; diverse.

It seems to just be another way to state “varied,” perhaps with more emphasis on a series of discrete states or gradients.

Found in the book The Organized Mind in a discussion of “In-Group/Out-Group” bias, which is the concept where we find numerous variations of those people in our “in-group,” but we tend to view the “out-group” as a single, monolithic block.  The example from the book:

Oh Democrats are a very diverse group – we come from all walks of life. Oh those Republicans – all they care about is lower taxes. They’re all alike.

And the usage of the word...

In cases on in-group/out-group bias, each group thinks of the other as homogeneous and monolithic, and each group views itself as variegated and complex.


cmadler says:

I’ve usually come across “variegated” in the context of botany. “Varied” could mean that different items have different colors or shades from one another, while “variegated” means that there is variance within each item. This seems to most commonly be variegated leaves (each leaf has multiple shades) but sometimes stems and fruits.

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