Stereotype threat occurs when stereotyped group members receive expectations of the group’s expected behavior.
Typically, stereotype threat reduces performance among stereotyped group members.
Stanford’s Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson now of NYU, helped women and African American participants resist these stereotypes.
In these conditions, participants’ performance improved more than when the researchers activated a positive shared identity.
Stereotypes can be invoked by “implicit primes” even when people explicitly disavowed stereotypes, found University of Washington’s Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji, then at Yale.
However, when volunteers focused on tasks, participants were less likely to render discriminatory decisions.
Women and men resisted stereotypic behavior in negotiations when stereotypes were elicited with explicit primes, reported University of California, Berkeley’s Laura Kray, Leigh Thompson of Northwestern, and Columbia’s Adam Galinsky.
Participants resisted gender stereotyped expectations when they activated a shared identity.
People can distance themselves from stereotypes with contrast primes, by providing examples that contradict a stereotype, noted Lehigh University’s Gordon B. Moskowitz and Ian W. Skurnik of University of Utah.
Men from majority groups can experience stereotype threat, explained University of Oklahoma’s Ryan P. Brown and Robert A. Josephs of University of Texas.
Male participants performed less effectively after a positive male stereotype,
“pressure to live up to the standard” was activated.
People can manage stereotype threat by explicitly mentioning the stereotype to activate stereotype resistance.
In addition, people can focus on a shared identity that transcends the stigmatized group identity, and can identifying examples that contradict the stereotype.
- How do you manage stereotype threat for yourself and others?
- How effective have you found activating stereotype reactance?
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