Chapter

Concerns About Generalizing Stereotype Threat Research Findings to Operational High-stakes Testing

Paul R. Sackett and Ann Marie Ryan

in Stereotype Threat

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199732449
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918508 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732449.003.0016
Concerns About Generalizing Stereotype Threat Research Findings to Operational High-stakes Testing

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The vast majority of stereotype threat research has been done in laboratory settings, and the focus of the chapter is on generalizing findings to the use of cognitive ability tests in high-stakes settings, such as personnel selection and admission for higher education. We first discuss some mischaracterization of the research findings on stereotype threat. Next, we discuss concerns regarding the generalizability of research findings to operational testing contexts, focusing on the degree to which boundary conditions for the experience of stereotype threat are met in high-stakes settings, and on the possibility of overcoming the inhibitory effects of experienced threat in high-stakes settings. We then review the limited existing research conducted in operational settings, including experimental, quasi-experimental, and observational studies. Our assessment is that research to date has not provided evidence of consistent and replicable threat effects in high-stakes settings, and that more research in operational testing settings is needed.

Keywords: stereotype threat; academic performance; black–white test score gap; male–female science gap; intervention

Chapter.  7290 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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