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Chapter 7

PSYC12H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Longitudinal Study, Allostatic Load, Stroop Effect

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Michael Inzlicht

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PSYC12: Stereotype Threat Ch. 7 Stereotype Threat Spillover
Experiencing prejudice has consequences when people feel like they are being judged by a negative
stereotype about their group, they perform poorly in the domain in which the stereotype applies a
pheoeo alled steeotpe theat.
The effects of stereotype threat do not end in the threatening environment, but also spill over into other
domains, where they can have further detrimental consequences.
“teeotpe theat spilloe a soial-psychological process whereby someone confronted with a
negative stereotype comes to suffer effects in areas unrelated to the source of threat.
o This model is based on identity-threat models of stigma, process models of stereotype threat,
and theories of stress & coping.
Short-term effects of spillover = aggression, risky decision-making and overeating
Long-term effects of spillover = physical health problems (i.e., obesity and anxiety)
There are traits and strategies that allow individuals to overcome the negative outcomes set in motion
by the powerful experience of prejudice.
Steele & Aronson (1995) laid out the foundations of the phenomenon stereotype threat, the
apprehension that targets feel when they think that negative stereotypes about their group will act as a
lens through which their behaviours will be judged.
o They reasoned that the black students tend to perform worse on standardized tests of
pefoae opaed to hite studets is that steeotpes ae i the ai, aousig deep-
seated fears and distracting them from doing as well as they could.
The basic phenomenon of stereotype threat is robust, occurring for many groups and in many
stereotyped domains, from women in science to indigent students in France, from the elderly, to white
Performance is hurt by a broader category of events it a ou heee ues hit that oes soial
identity is devalued and marginalized, when one feels like the victim of a social identity threat.
Stereotype threat and social identity threat, can affect the performance whenever people find
themselves in threatening environment.
A model that details the steps involved in coping with stereotype and social identity threat in this
model, perceive stereotype threat as a stressor similar to those other stressors that targets of prejudice
need to deal with, like economic hardships and poor housing.
Once appraised, stereotype and social identity threat result in involuntary stress reactions, like
physiological arousal and cognitive distraction, and volitional coping responses, like thought suppression
and attempts at emotion regulation.
Both stress reaction and volitional coping responses voluntary and involuntary), can consume self-
regulatory resources, leaving people less able to control and regulate themselves in instances in which
self-control is required.
Even if participants perform adequately in a stereotyped domain, suggest that the act of coping is hard
and can leave people in a depleted state that outlasts the threatening situation.
Stress can have direct effects on a whole host of outcomes, which together with depletion can result in
both short-and long-term consequences.
Short-term, coping with stereotype threat can affect people in a number of non-stereotyped domains.
o i.e., after coping with the negative stereotypes about their math ability, women become more
aggressive, eat unhealthier foods, and have a tougher time paying attention.
Long-term consequences link to between threats to social identity and poor mental health (e.g.,
depression, anxiety), poor physical health (e.g., obesity, hypertension), unhealthy behaviors (e.g.,
ignoring medical advice, drug use).
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Stereotype threat does not always spill over and cause havoc in a wide variety of domains.
Spillover effect is not inevitable, but can be overcome with things like active coping, social support, and
the cultivation of resilience.
This model details the social-psychological processes whereby someone confronted with a negative
stereotype comes to suffer short- and long-term effects in areas unrelated to the source of threat, an
experience called stereotype threat spillover.
This model is based on identity-threat models of stigma, process models of stereotype threat, and
theories of stress and coping.
This model assumes that targets of prejudice are more at risk of facing social identity stress than are
In the short-term, this stress prompts efforts to cope, draining energy required for other things, this
increased stress can directly and indirectly lead to physical and mental health problems, such as
hypertension, obesity, and depression.
The model begins with a person-by-situation interaction; some situations & environments are more
threatening than others threatening environments can be thought of as settings in which people
come to suspect that they could be devalued, stigmatized, or discriminated against because of a certain
social identity.
Threatening environments could include situations in which one is outnumbered by non-stigmatized
outgroups (i.e., when women finds out she is the only women in her engineering class).
Potential threatening environments do not need to arouse feelings of rejection explicitly, but may
contain subtle, seemingly innocuous cues.
o e.g., the number of male/female bathrooms on the executive floor of a bank building (more
male ones) may be enough to send messages of acceptance/rejection and start the cascade of
physiological stress and coping responses.
People differ in the extent to which they are aware of and bothered by negative stereotypes about their
groups a construct known as stigma-consciousness or group-based rejection-sensitivity.
o These individuals are vigilant for cues signaling that they are being viewed stereotypically and
are therefore more likely to appraise situations as threatening.
o Other individual differences that contribute to identity-threat appraisals include the extent to
which people regard their devalued identity as a central part of themselves and how strongly
they identify with domains in which their group is negatively stereotyped.
The type of threat that people experience varies from person to person.
Situations and people differ, and in specific situations, specific people will become uncertain about their
standing and vigilant for cues.
o States of uncertainty are significant because they are felt very keenly and are sometimes more
aversive than states of negativity this could be why targets of prejudice are sometimes more
affected by ambiguous cues of threat than by overt ones.
Once uncertain, people become acutely aware of cues that indicate whether their social-identity is being
o If cues are not present, or if individuals are not sensitive to those that are there, they may not
make identify-threat appraisals or experience further consequences.
These idetit safe eioets oe to idividuals that their stigmatized social
identities pose no barrier
o If cues that confirm stereotype relevance are present in the environment, of it individuals are
sensitive to discrimination, they may make threat appraisals, setting in motion a chain of stress
and coping responses.
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