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Chapter 12


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Michael Inzlicht

PSYC12 WINTER 2013 Chapter 12: Social Class and Test Performance Introduction  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 lazy 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 PSYC12 WINTER 2013  Future directions will take researchers in conceptualizing identity not as a personal variable but more as a social process involving group’s positions in the social structure – who are the long standing beneficiaries of the system vs. who are the excluded or marginalized ones?  Study by Lovagalia revealed that created a social hierarchy with different status and privilege was enough to induce stereotype threat effects on IQ scores o 3 conditions – high status and low status based on left or right handedness and assigned to a supervisor, an analyst or menial job with differencing rates of pay o After assigned to a job, the IQ scores were higher
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