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Chapter 1

STEREOTYPE THREAT CHAPTER 1.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY100H1
Professor
Dwayne Pare
Semester
Winter

Description
STEREOTYPE THREAT CHAPTER 1: Introduction stereotype threat seeks to identify how factors in the immediate performance situation contribute to if not create the appearance of systematic differences in ability  Interest in these effects is not restricted to academic circles but has gained broad recognition in popular press with applications beyond education to intergroup interactions, organizational behavior and clinical diagnoses  Countries around the world have schools and factories with a mixture of ethnicies, races, genders and religious affiliations  This is enhanced by technological advances that enable global communication, collaboration and education  Many countries have come to embrace human rights and egalitarian principles of equal opportunity extended to each and every member of that society  With increases in academic and economic opportunity came the promise of greater intergroup harmony and elimination of group disparities in academic performance, career opportunities and levels of advancement o Promise has not been met  Blacks and latinos continue to trail whites in measures of reading and mathematics at all ages  Achievement gap has narrowed, but race gap hasn’t changed in a significant way since 1990  Measurable progress hasn’t been made in performance in 2 decades  Not an American phenomenon b/c data indicates that similar gaps occur across the world whether black-white achievement gaps in Canada, socioeconomic groups in france, Christian muslim gaps in Netherlands or ashkenzi-sephardic gaps In Israel  Similarities seen in gender gap in math and science achievement  Gender gap in math in hgihschool is narrow, but expands in university  Gender gap hasn’t diminished since 1994 despite women now being better highschool students overall, over-representing men in top 10% of their 2010 classes  Women remain a minority in science, ehcnology, engineering, math earning about 25% of the highest degrees despite approaching equality with men in fields of medicine, business and law  Even in fields where women are more evenly represented, there’s still a dearth of women in top leadership positions WHAT CAUSES THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP?  Nature or nurture, biological and genetic explanations vs culture and socialization  Heernstein and murray claim that race gap in academic achievement has at its root real biological differences that contribute to variation in IQ  Blacks and latinos perform worse than whites b/c they are genetically endowed with inferior intelligence  Same could be said for women in maths and science – have an inferior intrinsic aptitude  Nurture o Racial, ethnic and religious minorities and women are products of sociocultural environments that frustrate development of appropriate skills, values and motivation needed for success o Being raised in a low income fam which is highly associated with race means having less access to educational resources, health care and nutrition, both of which contribute to lower academic performance  Cultural and socialization pressures may contribute to the gap o Mothers are more likely to encourage their sons than daughters to work hard in math and science despite evidence indicating that their daughters are as skilled in these domains as their sons  Shared presumption b/w nature and nurture: o Majority of our population due to their gender, racial or ethnic background lacks potential to achieve academic and career success to same degree as their white and asian male counterparts  Whether due to biology or accrued effects of upbringing, people belonging to marginalized groups have less ability  Evidence most often the subject of debate – scores on standardized tests of intelligence or achievement is a valid and unbiased indicator of a person’s true ability  After controlling for cultural bias in selection and construction of test items, research suggests that race differences persist even after controlling for SES  Even culturally fair and valid measures can still be subject to variables that systematically impair performance for some individuals and not others  Even if we could match students on genetic predispositions, educational background and personal values, something in the situation itself be that the testing center, laboratory or boardroom holds marginalized groups back from reaching their full potential  Something = existence of social stereotypes o Stereotypes asserting intellectual inferiority of marginalized groups creates a threatening intellectual environment for stigmatized individuals – climate in which anything they say or do could be interpreted through lens of low expectations  Stereotype threat can interfere with intellectual functioning and academic enagement, setting stage for later differences in educational attainment, career choice and job advancement STEREOTYPE THREAT  Situational predicament in which individuals are at risk by dint of their actions or behaviors of confirming negative stereotypes about their group  Resulting sense that one might be judged in terms of a negative stereotype in the air  b/c AAs are well aware of the negative stereotypes about their intellectual ability, whenever they are in a situation requiring them to disply said ability like a test situation, they may fear confirming the stereotype  ironically, the fear of the stereotype confirmation can hijack the cognitive systems required for optimal performance and result in low test performance  if situations themselves are creating or magnifying group differences in performance, then black college students should perform much better when the situation is cast in a less stereotype relevant way  AAs performed better on a set of verbal ability problems when they were described as a simple lab task than when they were described as a diagnostic measure of intelligence  Stereotype thr
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