Article

Stereotype Threat

Amy M. Williams, Ines Jurcevic and Jenessa R. Shapiro

in Psychology

ISBN: 9780199828340
Published online March 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0115
Stereotype Threat

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
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  • Educational Psychology
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Stereotype threat, a social psychological phenomenon, is a concern about being viewed through the lens of a negative stereotype. Whereas previous explanations for gaps between whites and racial minorities in academic achievement, or between men and women in interest and achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), have often cited cultural, parental, or even biological factors, stereotype threat points to a very different barrier, a barrier that is not structural but psychological. That is, the concerns at the root of stereotype threat induce an extra cognitive burden that interferes with performance and undermines interest and motivation in stereotype-relevant fields. Experiencing stereotype threat does not require an internalization of the negative stereotype, only an awareness that the stereotype exists and a motivation to disprove the stereotype. Since the initial articulation of stereotype threat in 1995, hundreds of articles have extended the study of this phenomenon. This article includes a general overview of stereotype threat research, provides a review of reference works, and highlights for whom and in what contexts stereotype threats can arise. Additional sections include demonstrations of the phenomenon in both performance and nonperformance domains and highlight the associated compensation strategies individuals employ to cope with stereotype threats. This article also documents the presence of stereotype threat in real-world settings, the common mechanisms that account for stereotype threat effects, the physiological and neurological evidence associated with stereotype threat, the moderators that can enhance or buffer against stereotype threat effects, and a review of the developmental and cross-cultural evidence in support of stereotype threat. Further, this article explores the interventions used to mitigate stereotype threat effects, the common research methods social psychologists use to study stereotype threat, and phenomena closely related to stereotype threat.

Article.  13978 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Health Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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