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Chapter 1

PSYC12H3 Chapter 1: PSYC12 - Stereotype Threat - Ch. 1: Introduction


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC12H3
Professor
Michael Inzlicht
Chapter
1

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1
PSYC12: Stereotype Threat Ch. 1: Introduction
Stereotype threat is one of the most widely studied social psychological concepts of the past 20
years
Theory offers a more optimistic account of group differences in performance
Avoiding the nature-nurture debate, stereotype threat seeks to identify how factors in the
immediate performance situation contribute to the appearance of systematic differences in
ability.
21st century has brought with it unparalleled levels of diversity in the classroom and the
workforce.
It is not uncommon to see in elementary, high school, and university classroomsa global
mixture of ethnicities, races, genders, and religious affiliations this is the case in countries all
over the globe and is only enhanced by technological advances that enable global
communication, collaboration, and education.
Many countries have come to embrace not only the idea of basic human rights but also
egalitarian principles of equal opportunity extended to each and every member of that society.
With the increases in academic and economic opportunities came the promise of not only greater
intergroup harmony, but also the elimination of group disparities in academic performance,
career opportunities, and levels of advancement this promise has not been met yet!
Recent data collected by the U.S based National Assessment of Educational Progress (2009),
found Blacks and Latinos continue to trail whites in standardized measures of reading &
mathematics at all age levels.
o Although this achievement gap has narrowed in 1973, the race gap has not changes in any
significant way since about 1990.
Data indicate that similar gaps exist worldwide, whether black-white achievement gaps in
Canada, socioeconomic gaps in France, Christian-Muslim gaps in the Netherlands, or Ashkenazi-
Sephardic gaps in Israel.
Data reveal some similarities in the gender gap in math & science achievement and engagement.
Although there is only a narrow gender gap in standard measures of math achievement in high
school, this gap is larger and significant on university entrance tests (i.e., SAT).
This gender gap has not diminished since 1994, despite women now being better high school
students overall, over-representing men in the top 10% of their 2010 classes.
Women also remain a minority in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics, earning about 25% of the highest degrees in these fields despite approaching
equality with men in the fields of medicine, business, and law.
WHAT CAUSES THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP
Explanations for these disparities typically invoke either nature or nurture, either biological and
genetic explanations, or ones based on culture and socialization.
The Bell Curve (Herrnestein & Murray, 1994) claim that the race gap in academic achievement
has its root in real biological differences that contribute to variation in IQ
o Blacks and Latinos perform worse than whites because they are genetically endowed with
inferior intelligence
o Also explains women’s under-representation in math and science, with Harvard
University president Lawrence Summers’ controversial allusions to women’s inferior
intrinsic aptitude being only the most high-profile of recent examples.
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
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