The Effects of Stereotype Threat and Self-Esteem on Task Performance

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There have been many studies on stereotype threat and self-esteem and their negative effects on task performance. These studies have focused primarily on minorities such as women, blacks, Latinos and Asians and have found that stereotype threat and self-esteem have influenced negatively in task performance. Steele (1997) investigated how self-esteem and stereotype threat affects task performance and has found that most of task failures have to do with the individual social environment. For instance, a study was conducted in which black students completed a difficult task with either a black or white experimenter. The task was described as intelligent test (Steele & Aronson, 1995). When the experimenter was white, the student performed more…show more content…
Self esteem can bring positive or negative outcomes when it comes to task performance. Thus, people with greater levels of self-esteem and no stereotype presence build on personal strengths to succeed, whereas people with lower levels of self-esteem and stereotype presence attempt to deal with their flaws to be accepted (Baumeister & Tice, 1985; Brown & Dutton, 1995). Therefore, we wish to determine whether stereotype threat effects could be reduced or eliminated by activating self-esteem. We hypothesized that by directly addressing the need to maintain a sense of self-worth through affirming a valued characteristic that is not under threat, we would reduce or eliminated the impact of the stereotype threat, allowing people to feel more confident to deal with the situation and perform better.
Stereotype Threat In general terms, stereotype threat is being at risk of confirming, as self-characteristic, a negative stereotype about one’s group (Steele, 1997). “The existence of such a stereotype means that anything that one does or any of one’s features that conform to it make the stereotype more reasonable as a self- characterization in the eyes of others, and perhaps even in one’s own eyes” (Steele, 1992). People are stereotyped according to their group. A group can be identified by race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion among others. Stereotypes
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