The Threat of a Stereotype

1383 WordsJul 8, 20186 Pages
Stereotype threat is present in our everyday lives and it prevents people from doing things to their fullest abilities. It is the fear of confirming a negative stereotype about you resulting in weaker performance. An example where stereotype threat exists is in the case where African Americans do poorly on tests compared to Caucasian individuals. This occurs because the stereotype is that African Americans are intellectually inferior to Caucasian people. In a setting where the negative stereotype is brought to mind, African Americans will perform poorly on tests when in fact they are able to perform equally as well if not better than Caucasian individuals. (Article 1) Stereotype threat limits individuals in their performance in academics,…show more content…
On the other hand, depending on the task given, the identity that could best accomplish it would emerge. For example when doing the math test, the student identity emerged and then when doing the self-rating assessment the athletic identity would emerge. Jumping from one identity occurs when needed but there is the possibility that the stereotype threat surfaces during testing. The practical implication of this article is that even with control of which identity is activated, the negative stereotype reminds a person of doing poorly. Researchers Johns, Schmader, and Martens conducted a study of how to reduce stereotype threat in women’s math performance by teaching them about stereotype threat. When women were told that it was a non-diagnostic test they performed better than men. The other case of reduced threat was when women were taught about stereotype threat and its effects. In this case women performed almost equally to men. Research shows us that when women are not reminded of the stereotype or being compared to men they perform better. Gaining knowledge on stereotype threat reduced the threat. In my opinion I think this method could work in other situation. Teaching individuals about stereotype threat could be successful in most people because it will be encouraging and influencing them not to get affected by it. Although it will be
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