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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 - January 17th.docx

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McMaster University
Jennifer Ostovich

Stereotype Threat: Stereotypes are harmful in subtle ways - knowing there are stereotypes about you and your group can lead you to fulfill the stereotypes even though you don’t want to Stereotypes and Academic performance  Race predicts drop out rates in the U.S.  University completion (Steele, 1990) - Blacks have a 70% drop out rate and Whites have a 42% drop out rate when controlling for SAT scores and GPA - Blacks dropped out for reasons that were unassociated with how well they were doing in school, Whites dropped out because they weren’t doing well  High school on-time completion (Schott Foundation, 2008) - only 47% of Blacks completed high school on-time, which declined to 28% when in large cities such as New York City - Whites had an almost 100% completion rate  WHY?? - thought to be due to students having bad academic days: White students might fail a test, and then say to themselves I will do better next time, but a black student might say they are very stupid and incapable of doing better on the next test. A bad academic day will remind black students that they are supposed to have a lot of bad academic days, therefore fulfilling the stereotype, and then become stressed because they have to beat the stereotype, and end up dropping out due to the stress they put on themselves.  Some terminology  Stereotype threat—fear of fulfilling the stereotype  Self-fulfilling prophecy—fear of fulfilling the stereotype, and then you fulfill the stereotype  General experimental methodology (Steele, 1990s) - recruited students from Stanford University, where drop out rates are still differential among races - the subjects were told that they were going to do a task that they are going to do quite badly on, so they feel as though they have failed Steele thought that if he reminded Blacks of the stereotype about them in some way, it will harm their performance compared to just distracting them; he could do this by just asking their race Should we ask about race? Methods  Verbal game described as difficult but meaningless - it was described as a game, and the subjects were told the results had no meaning, the researchers were trying to remove the threat of the actual task  2 IV’s  Race of Ss (50% blac
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