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Chapter 12

PSYC12H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Takers, Test Anxiety, Symbolic Power

Course Code
Michael Inzlicht

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Chapter 12: Social Class and Test Performance From Stereotype Threat to symbolic violence and vice versa
Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) scores strongly related to parental annual income
Rich get the best scores and the very poor get the lowest
Chapter focuses on the ways in which stereotypes that portray the poor as not intelligent impact test
Present research on the attitudes and stereotypes that people hold toward those who are poor
Poor people are victims of contemptuous stereotype that portray them as unintelligent and lazy
Research in psychometrics revels that on average, people who are better off have higher IQs than do the poor
After developing the first intelligence test, Binet discovered that children from affluent neighborhoods had
superior intelligence than their peers living in the poor suburbs
Relationship b/w socioeconomic status (SES) and Scholastic Assessment test (SAT) scores are particularly
SAT, still measures “IQ” or intelligence to
a large extent
Figure 12.1 Gradual increase of 10-70
points in SAT scores with each extra
20,000$ in parental annual income
Association is strong enough so that a
student’s score could actually be guessed
based on the car his/her parents drive
referred to as “Volvo Effect”
Herrnstein and Murry’s Bell Curve
individual and group differences in IQ are
mainly a matter of heredity
Rich kids have higher IQs b/c they inherit
smart genes from smarter parents
Some argue poor kids have lower IQ b/c
they grow up in environments
characterized by strong maternal
deprivation and substandard schooling social class
Test scores measure intelligence
o Some argue that relationship b/w social class and IQ may be more informative of the property of the
test itself rather than the attributes of the test-takers
o Test items can be biased in their content and perhaps more indicative of a one’ familiarity with the
white upper middle-class culture
Kelly’s Covariation principle of dispositional attribution:
o Sameness of circumstances the test situation is the same for all takers and sameness of stimuli the
test is the same for all and is not biased against certain groups
Social class is a fundamental determinant of any individual’s life course and poverty is a pervasive problem in
many industrialized countries
People still believe that social status is earned and that people are responsible for their social standing in society
People expect those who are poor to have lower intellectual ability
Researchers showed that stereotypes about the poor were largely negative; people from low SES groups
were portrayed as being unintelligent, uneducated, unmotivated and irresponsible - they are disliked and
disrespected and this attitude is widely spread across cultures
Stereotypes of inferiority can affect intellectual achievement
Research on stereotype threat and social class is largely underdeveloped
First study revealing stereotype threat effect related to social class (Croizet and Claire, 1998)
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