Lecture #8: Stereotype Threat II
Stereotype Threat in general
• Inzlicht & Ben-Zeev, 2000
o Put women into majority or minority groups in terms of how many men there were
at their table in the room
o When they sit with two women especially or with one other woman and a man,
they do much better than when they sit with two men.
o And the math test performance linearly varies as we increase the number of men
in the room. Because, when you’re outnumbered, you tend to think about the
thing that makes you outnumbered.
o i.e. proportion of in-group and out-group members in an enviro can affect
intellectual performance, even when reminders of this are very subtle.
o The minority situation is harmful only if the stereotype domain exists
If this domain does not exist, there will not be ill effects (i.e. no
stereotypes about knowledge of history in Sri Lankan people, even if
there is only one Sri Lankan in a history program)
• Stone et al, 1999
o Minigolf performance as a fxn of race/task ability.
o Whites do worse when told it measures “natural athletic ability” compared to
• Yeung & von Hippel, 2008
o Women hit more pedestrians in a driving simulation when remind of stereotype
• There’s a stereotype that gay men are more likely to be pedophiles
Mechanisms Through Which Stereotypes Threaten
• Proximal mechanism of working memory
o Stereotype threat temporarily impairs working memory. Because instead of
focusing on task at hand, you’re worried about confirming/disconfirming the
stereotype. And working mem can only hold so many things at once, so this can
lower our cog ability. It’s like how multitasking can lower your ability in each, rather than if
youw ere solely focusing on one
o Schmader & Johns, 2003
Tested this mechanism
In fact, working me