Understanding the Obama Effect

1068 Words Jul 15th, 2018 5 Pages
The “Obama Effect” is a theory that combats the effects of negative stereotyping, which is when a group confirms a negative social stereotype for their social group. For example, a negative stereotype is Black-Americans perform worse on tests than White-Americans, and when Black-Americans are made aware of the stereotype before testing, they perform worse than White-Americans. The “Obama Effect” is an effect which combats the negative stereotype. When a stereotype-defying role model is very salient and known, such as President Obama, it is believed this eliminates the effects of negative stereotyping on performance. A role-model must be seen as competent, as an ingroup role model for the stereotyped group of individuals, and the group must …show more content…
An issue with internal validity could be that the study was an online study, and therefore it is out of the experimenter’s control to make sure no one cheats. Participants could have used Google to find answers or definitions of words, or asked people with them to help them on the test. This would result in scores higher than should exist, and so the “Obama Effect” may exist when it really shouldn’t. A way to compensate for this would be to administer the test in-person. It would still be possible to reach people all over the country, it would just require more contacts across the country who would be able to administer the exam, and more work to make sure the sample of people is random and the two races are equal in education and English proficiency. There is also a potential issue with external validity. Since the exam was administered online, a subpopulation of people may not be represented in the study who do not have readily available internet access, and that could affect the impact of the “Obama Effect” on the two races’ performance on the test. People with internet tend to be of higher SES and so the causality between an increase in scores and the “Obama Effect” may not be accurate. The
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