PSYC12H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Intersectionality, Mexican Americans, Meritocracy

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Published on 28 Mar 2013
Chapter 12: Social Class and Test Performance
Strong correlations between wealth and intelligence as determined by SES and SAT scores for example
Some argue that test scores do not measure intelligence but rather familiarity with upper middle class
culture than of her intelligence
Stereotypes about Social Class
Marginal literature on prejudice and discrimination on account of social class
Research indicates that those who are poor are perceived to be have poor intellectual ability, uneducated,
unmotivated and irresponsible
In other words, poor are the victims of the a contemptuous prejudice that portrays them as unintelligent and
Stereotype Threat and Social Class
Croizet and Claire Social Class and Stereotype Threat in France
o Class was determined by parental occupation and education
o When students were asked to indicate the level of their parents education, this had no impact on
intellectual achievement
o However, when students were told that the test was a measure of their cognitive ability, students
for low SES performed worse that those with high SES
o In situations when they were told it was anon diagnostic test of ability, low SES performed as well
as high SES students
o High SES benefited from the diagnostic condition a lift condition
Harrison, Stevens, Monty and Coaklye replicated the study in the US
o Found stereotype threat for low SES and stereotype life for high SES students regardless if
situation were salient or implicit in non-diagnostic condition
o Worked in both the diagnostic and non-diagnostic conditions
Research has also documented the psychological cost of stereotype threat beyond performance disturbance
o Higher text anxiety, lower confidence in their ability to perform and lower identification with
academic domains
Stereotype threat even impacts performance on nonverbal IQ tests that were specially developed to limit
language bias in psychometric assessment such as the Raven’s progressive matrices tests, considered one of
the purest measures of intelligence
o Sensitive to stereotype threat that targets the poor
o For example, low SES children performed worse on the Raven’s test when it was introduced using
the standard instruction rather than when it was described as a game
o Stereotype threat can affect acheivement and therefore student’s life early on
Intersectionality and Stereotype Threat
Most of the groups experiencing stereotype threat are usually those form the bottom of the social hierarchy
us has blacks, Latinos, the poor and women
The concept of intersectionality, initially developed by feminist and critical race theorists, explicitly refers
to the reality that groups hold multiple statuses in society
Double Minority Effect a study showed that debilitating effects of stereotype threat disrupted women’s
math performance but only for Mexican American females and not white women
Another study showed that elderly people suffered more from memory loss when with lower education,
conclusion was that education may be a more important factor than age with regard to susceptibility and
resilience to memory aging stereotypes
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