PSYC12H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 18: Social Psychology, Stereotype Threat

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Published on 28 Mar 2013
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Chapter 18: An Identity Threat Perspective on Intervention
Introduction
Interventions that closed the achievement gap invoking high standards for performance, encouraging
optimistic interpretations of adversity and buttressing students’ sense of belonging and self-integrity.
Stereotype threat makes a person adaptive but it can lead to raising stress, depleting limited mental
resources and undermining performance
It can also erode a person’s feelings of comfort, belonging and trust
Inequality has psychological and structural causes as well therefore psychological interventions need to be
considered along with structural approaches
Stereotype threat is a general phenomenon of identity threat
Social identity threat, the group form of this threat, arises when people realize that they could be devalued
on the basis of their group for any reasons
Identity threat can depress cognitive functioning and emotional wellbeing especially when chronic and
experience in a domain like school or work, where outcomes have material and symbolic consequences
Moving From Lab to Field: Conceptualizing Identity Threat in Real World Settings
Laboratory research suggests several effective steps for reducing stereotype threat
o Exposing students to role models who disconfirm the stereotype through their competence
o Encouraging people to see performance gaps between groups as due to social rather than genetic
factors
o Having people call to mind an alternative positively stereotyped identity to hold
o Adequate representation of the stereotyped group in the class room or workplace
Threats act as restraining force on potential of performance
o It prevents positive forces in both the person and the environment from asserting their full impact
on performance and learning
o Threat may also make negative factors gain a larger role in outcomes
o Psychological forces can limit the efficiency of the school system
Attributional retraining
o Students are taught to attribute setbacks to factors unrelated to the stereotype or lack of belonging,
instead asked to attribute to common challenges inherent in school
o Ineffective when not coupled with objective opportunities to grow such as poor instruction but
when done with excellent instruction, there were better results
Feedback from Teacher to Student
o Student growth linked to quality of feedback from mentors
o This is dependent on the level of trust between feedback giver and receiver if a white person
gave feedback to an African American student, student less likely to incorporate feedback due to
mistrust same with man feedback giver and female student, less likely to incorporate feedback
How to convey feedback more effectively
o Gave back identical feedback with additional message that he had high standards and his personal
assurance that the student in question had the potential to reach those standards
o Students who received this version of feedback were more likely to incorporate feedback to
improve
Small interventions when attuned to important psychological processes can have large effects
Theory informed strategies could alleviate identity threat and close gaps in the ability to benefit from
educational opportunity
Approach to Real World Intervention
Our intervention approaches rests on three ideas: levers, recursion and dynamic nature of social systems
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