Stereotype Threat Spillover

Michael Inzlicht, Alexa M. Tullett and Jennifer N. Gutsell

in Stereotype Threat

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199732449
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918508 | DOI:
Stereotype Threat Spillover

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Experiencing prejudice has consequences. When people feel like they are being judged by a negative stereotype about their group, they perform poorly in the domain in which the stereotype applies—a phenomenon known as stereotype threat. Unfortunately, the effects of stereotype threat do not end in the threatening environment, but also spill over into other domains, where they can have further detrimental consequences. In this chapter, we present a model detailing the social-psychological processes whereby someone confronted with a negative stereotype comes to suffer effects in areas unrelated to the source of threat, an experience we call stereotype threat spillover. This model is based on identity-threat models of stigma, process models of stereotype threat, and theories of stress and coping. We first describe some of the short-term effects of spillover, including aggression, risky decision-making, and overeating. We then discuss long-term effects, including both physical health problems like obesity and hypertension, as well as mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. We end on a positive note when we outline traits and offer strategies that allow individuals to overcome the negative outcomes set in motion by the powerful experience of prejudice.

Keywords: stereotype threat; spillover; self-control; ego-depletion; eating; aggression; decision making; health

Chapter.  7699 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

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