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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - Stereotype Threat Book

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Michael Inzlicht

PSYC12 Inzlicht & Schmader Chapter 2 – The role of situational cues in signaling and maintaining stereotype threat 1. Stereotype Threat: A Person In Context 1.1. Rather than theorizing about these causes as rooted in one’s culture or lack of preparation, stereotype threat theory posited that these differences might be attributed to features of the situation 1.1.1.When situational cues in a setting make a stereotype salient and relevant to one’s actions, the resulting psychological pressure to disprove the stereotype might depress academic performance 1.2. The Role of Cues and Vigilance in Stereotype Threat 1.2.1. Social identity theory – assumes that each person has multiple social identities (e.g., gender, age, race, socioeconomic status) 1.2.2. When situational cues signal an identity’s value or importance in a setting, that particular group membership becomes more salient and a vigilance (keeping careful) process is initiated 1.2.3. During the vigilance phase, two appraisals are possible If the cues in the environment disconfirm the possibility that one’s social identity will be a source of stigma, the vigilance relaxes If the cues confirm the possibility that one’s social identity is likely to be negatively evaluated, vigilance increases 1.2.4. Murphy’s research on men and women in Math, Science, and Engineering (MSE) found out that women who watched a video about gender inequality in MSE tended to be more mentally and physiologically vigilant, and they paid more attention to situational cues, both within the video and their local environment, to determine the value of their gender identity in the MSE conference setting 1.2.5. The degree to which one identifies with a domain moderates stereotype threat effects 1.3. Situational Cues in Academic Settings 1.3.1.Two cues – diagnosticity (helpfulness of evidence and argument) of a test and the relevance of a stereotype to people’s test performance produced stereotype threat among groups whose intellectual abilities are negatively stereotyped 1.3.2.Research has shown that linking one’s identity to one’s performance or future potential subtly suggests diagnosticity and relevance 1.3.3.Stereotypes thereby are made relevant by emphasizing a test’s importance, explicitly linking it to other, presumably more important abilities, such as one’s general intelligence or future academic potential 1.3.4.Research has also shown that the number f whites or men in a setting can significantly affect the performance of racial minorities and women 1.3.5.Thus, the physical arrangement and mere presence of certain groups within a setting are subtle, but powerful, situational cues affecting stigmatized individuals 1.3.6.A study on performance of men and women after watching several commercials revealed how harmful some commonplace cues can be 1.3.7.People’s behaviour can also trigger stereotype threat. Women use men’s body language as an indicator of the potential for negative treatment and stereotyping Female engineers that interacted with a macho male student before an engineering exam did worse, because they cognitively suppressed concerns about gender stereotype
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