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PSYC12H3 (298)
Chapter 3


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Michael Inzlicht

PSYC12WINTER 2013 Chapter 3 An Integration of Processes that Underlie Stereotype Threat IntroductionSteel and Aronsons discovery that performance could be easily manipulated by merely how a task is described or who is present in the room is astonishingMany cues in our immediate environment can signal in subtle or obvious ways our cultural fit within that context It is not just that individuals feel anxious when they are stereotype and that is why they underperformand it is not the case that stereotypes are activated and automatically induce stereotype consistent behaviorStereotype Treat is What Stereotype Threat DoesStereotype threat characterizes a concern that one might inadvertently confirm an unwanted belief about ones group As a result those who experience stereotype threat have a motivation to avoid enacting any behavior that might be seen as stereotypical Automatic Activation of ThreatStereotype threat has an ability to affect performance without a persons conscious awareness of the stereotype having been activatedo Many happen outside of conscious awareness that is not always necessary First situation at that cue stereotype threat activate a scheme of that stereotypeo Black college students were more like to complete word fragment with race rather than rice rock or rich indicated a cue as simple as the way it is described can bring the stereotype to mindStereotype salience leads to a cognitive imbalance that humans are compelled to rectify so this may this uncertainty may stimulate increased negative association between oneself and domain o Women are bad at math I am woman I must be bad at math but Im usually good So I must actually be bad Change the feelings of selfefficacy to compensate for the imbalance of associationsUncertainty is not an end state but rather a phenomenological driver of additional processing aimed at resolving the inconsistency of ones thought processesOnes attention may becoming oversensitive to avoid confirmation of stereotype but seemingly innocuous cues such as feeling anxious or making a simple error may result as an interpretation of sign of failure Minority college students who were invested in doing well academically exhibited greater vigilance to the errors they made during a simple response time tasks when they believed that their intelligence was being assessed compared to when the task was described more neutrally People become more vigilant on signs of threats in their environment and increased automatic detraction of errors and bias from othersIn sum stereotype threat situations bring to mind thoughts about ones relation a valued domain that conflict with ones relation to valued group that is stereotyped to do poorlyThis cognitive inconsistency triggers certain automatic effects such as a sense of uncertainty and increased vigilance towards cues that might help one to detect with the goal of avoiding behavior that could confirm the stereotypeExplicit Efforts to Manage the Situation and Ones ResponseStereotype threat causes automatic processes to occur but it also sets in motion controlled processes that can affect performance for the worse but also for the betterIncreased Effort at the Task A core tenet of stereotype threat theory is tis that it increases ones motivation to disconfirm the stereotype
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