Stereotype Threat

Since discovering the concept of stereotype threat, I wanted to dive deep and see if this plays a role in any other intelligence assessments. Stereotype threat is the notion that asking people of color or women about their racial/gender identities prior to a test can be correlated with poor performance and lower scores. This can be due to the amount of pressure an individual can feel about possibly being judged based on one or more of their identities which in turn affects the outcome. The APA released an article addressing the achievement gap that stems from this concept. This article also discussed stigma which can play a major role in poor performance on intelligence scores. There were several studies noted within the article but one that stuck out was conducted by Dr. Claude Steele, Dr. Diane Quinn, and Dr. Steven Spencer. These researchers discovered that by simply telling women that their math test results also showed gender differences, they performed worse than men. Conversely, when researchers told women that the tests showed no gender differences, they performed equal to men. It is important to note that stereotype threat is not the exact cause for differing performance levels however, researchers found that this concept has a significant influence on test performance. The results of these studies have led to people developing methods to reduce the achievement gap. 



Do Test Perceptions Influence Test Performance?


One thought on “Stereotype Threat

  1. cbilly

    I find the stereotype threat so interesting. I think its crazy how easily the scores are manipulated! just by telling someone they will do worse or better based on a stereotype even when they know its not true. It makes me wonder if I just went in with a better mindset into my exams if I would score higher!

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