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PSYC12H3 (298)
Chapter 2

Stereotype Threat Chapter 2.docx

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Michael Inzlicht

STEREOTYPE THREAT CHAPTER 2  Initial aim of stereotype threat research was to examine those factors suppressing the intellectual performance of black students and women in math o Both underperforming in class room relative to intellectual abilities o What’s causing this? Stereotype Threat: A person in Context  When situational cues in a setting make a stereotype salient and relevant to one’s actions o resulting psychological pressure to disprove the stereotype might depress academic performance  since 1995—400 studies have documented stereotype threat, investigating those factors that trigger and temper its effects The Roles of Cues and Vigilance in Stereotype Threat  Stereotype threat theory begins with the assumption that each person has multiple social identities (gender, age, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, etc.)  When situation cues signal an identity’s value or importance in setting—particular group membership becomes salient—vigilance process initiated o In vigilance phase—people’s attention is directed to other situational cues in the environment to determine whether identity may be a liability  Two appraisals are possible o If cues in environment disconfirm possibility that one’s social identity will be a source of stigma—vigilance relaxes o If situational cues confirm the possibility that one’s social identity is likely to be negatively evaluated—vigilance increases  Study Math, Science and Engineering Environment o Male and Female MSE majors watched a video advertising a prestigious MSE summer conference—depicts either 3 men to one woman or balanced o Measured subjects psychological and physiological vigilance as they watched o Women majors who watched 3:1 video—report less belonging to MSE, had little desire to attend the conference  More highly vigilant than women who watched gender balanced video and men  Remembered more details of video  Faster heart beats/sweatier palms  Focused attention on their broader social environment—remembered more MSE-related cues planted in the lab room—MSE textbooks  Individuals differ with regard to likelihood and intensity that they engage vigilance
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