Stereotype threat is a situational predicament in which people are or feel themselves to be at risk of conforming to stereotypes about their social group. Stereotype threat is purportedly a contributing factor to long-standing racial and gender gaps in academic performance. It may occur whenever an individual's performance might confirm a negative stereotype because stereotype threat is thought to arise from a particular situation, rather than from an individual's personality traits or characteristics. Since most people have at least one social identity which is negatively stereotyped, most people are vulnerable to stereotype threat if they encounter a situation in which the stereotype is relevant. Situational factors that increase stereotype threat can include the difficulty of the task, the belief that the task measures their abilities, and the relevance of the stereotype to the task. Individuals show higher degrees of stereotype threat on tasks they wish to perform well on and when they identify strongly with the stereotyped group. These effects are also increased when they expect discrimination due to their identification with a negatively stereotyped group. Repeated experiences of stereotype threat can lead to a vicious circle of diminished confidence, poor performance, and loss of interest in the relevant area of achievement.
Since its introduction into the academic literature, stereotype threat has become one of the most widely studied topics in the field of social psychology. Stereotype threat has been argued to show a reduction in the performance of individuals who belong to negatively stereotyped groups. According to the theory, if negative stereotypes are present regarding a specific group, group members are likely to become anxious about their performance, which may hinder their ability to perform to their full potential. Importantly, the individual does not need to subscribe to the stereotype for it to be activated. It is hypothesized that the mechanism through which anxiety (induced by the activation of the stereotype) decreases performance is by depleting working memory (especially the phonological aspects of the working memory system).
However, studies have cautioned that stereotype threat should not be interpreted as a factor in real-world performance gaps. Multiple reviews has raised concerns that the effect has been over-estimated for schoolgirls and that the field likely suffers from publication bias.
The opposite of stereotype threat is stereotype boost, which is when people perform better than they otherwise would have, because of exposure to positive stereotypes about their social group. A variant of stereotype boost is stereotype lift, which is people achieving better performance because of exposure to negative stereotypes about other social groups.
More than 300 published papers show the effects of stereotype threat on performance in a variety of domains. The strength of the stereotype threat that occurs depends on how the task is framed. If a task is framed to be neutral, stereotype threat is not likely to occur; however, if tasks are framed in terms of active stereotypes, participants are likely to perform worse on the task. For example, a study on chess players revealed that female players performed more poorly than expected when they were told they would be playing against a male opponent. In contrast, women who were told that their opponent was female performed as would be predicted by past ratings of performance. Female participants who were made aware of the stereotype of females performing worse at chess than males performed worse in their chess games.
Researchers Vishal Gupta, Daniel Turban, and Nachiket Bhawe extended stereotype threat research to entrepreneurship, a traditionally male-stereotyped profession. Their study revealed that stereotype threat can depress women's entrepreneurial intentions while boosting men's intentions. However, when entrepreneurship is presented as a gender-neutral profession, men and women express a similar level of interest in becoming entrepreneurs. Another experiment involved a golf game which was described as a test of "natural athletic ability" or of "sports intelligence". When it was described as a test of athletic ability, European-American students performed worse, but when the description mentioned intelligence, African-American students performed worse.
Other studies have demonstrated how stereotype threat can negatively affect the performance of European Americans in athletic situations as well as the performance of men who are being tested on their social sensitivity. Although the framing of a task can produce stereotype threat in most individuals, certain individuals appear to be more likely to experience stereotype threat than others. Individuals who highly identify with a particular group appear to be more vulnerable to experiencing stereotype threat than individuals who do not identify strongly with the stereotyped group.
The mere presence of other people can evoke stereotype threat. In one experiment, women who took a mathematics exam along with two other women got 70% of the answers right, whereas women who took the same exam in the presence of two men got an average score of 55%.
The goal of a study conducted by Desert, Preaux, and Jund in 2009 was to see if children from lower socioeconomic groups are affected by stereotype threat. The study compared children that were 6–7 years old with children that were 8–9 years old from multiple elementary schools. These children were presented with the Raven's Matrices test, which is an intellectual ability test. Separate groups of children were given directions in an evaluative way and other groups were given directions in a non-evaluative way. The "evaluative" group received instructions that are usually given with the Raven Matrices test, while the "non-evaluative" group was given directions which made it seem as if the children were simply playing a game. The results showed that third graders performed better on the test than the first graders did, which was expected. However, the lower socioeconomic status children did worse on the test when they received directions in an evaluative way than the higher socioeconomic status children did when they received directions in an evaluative way. These results suggested that the framing of the directions given to the children may have a greater effect on performance than socioeconomic status. This was shown by the differences in performance based on which type of instructions they received. This information can be useful in classroom settings to help improve the performance of students of lower socioeconomic status.
There have been studies on the effects of stereotype threat based on age. A study was done on 99 senior citizens ranging in age from 60–75 years. These seniors were given multiple tests on certain factors and categories such as memory and physical abilities, and were also asked to evaluate how physically fit they believe themselves to be. Additionally, they were asked to read articles that contained both positive and negative outlooks about seniors, and they watched someone reading the same articles. The goal of this study was to see if priming the participants before the tests would affect performance. The results showed that the control group performed better than those that were primed with either negative or positive words prior to the tests. The control group seemed to feel more confident in their abilities than the other two groups.
Many psychological experiments carried out on Stereotype Threat focus on the physiological effects of negative stereotype threat on performance, looking at both high and low status groups. Scheepers and Ellemers tested the following hypothesis: when assessing a performance situation on the basis of current beliefs the low status group members would show a physiological threat response, and high-status members would also show a physiological threat response when examining a possible alteration of the status quo(Scheepers & Ellemers, 2005). The results of this experiment were in line with expectations. As predicted, participants in the low status condition showed higher blood pressure immediately after the status feedback, while participants in the high-status condition showed a spike in blood pressure while anticipating the second round of the task.
In 2012, Scheepers et al. hypothesized that when high social power is stimulated 'an efficient cardiovascular pattern (challenge)' is produced, whereas, 'an inefficient cardiovascular pattern' or threat is caused by the activation of low social power (Scheepers, de Wit, Ellemers & Sassenberg, 2012). Two experiments were carried out in order to test this hypothesis. The first experiment looked at power priming and the second experiment related to role play. Both results from these two experiments provided evidence in support for the hypothesis.
Cleopatra Abdou and Adam Fingerhut were the first to develop experimental methods to study stereotype threat in a health care context, including the first study indicating that health care stereotype threat is linked with adverse health outcomes and disparities.
Although numerous studies demonstrate the effects of stereotype threat on performance, questions remain as to the specific cognitive factors that underlie these effects. Steele and Aronson originally speculated that attempts to suppress stereotype-related thoughts lead to anxiety and the narrowing of attention. This could contribute to the observed deficits in performance. In 2008, Toni Schmader, Michael Johns, and Chad Forbes published an integrated model of stereotype threat that focused on three interrelated factors:
Schmader et al. suggest that these three factors summarize the pattern of evidence that has been accumulated by past experiments on stereotype threat. For example, stereotype threat has been shown to disrupt working memory and executive function, increase arousal, increase self-consciousness about one's performance, and cause individuals to try to suppress negative thoughts as well as negative emotions such as anxiety. People have a limited amount of cognitive resources available. When a large portion of these resources are spent focusing on anxiety and performance pressure, the individual is likely to perform worse on the task at hand.
A number of studies looking at physiological and neurological responses support Schmader and colleagues' integrated model of the processes that produce stereotype threat. Supporting an explanation in terms of stress arousal, one study found that African Americans under stereotype threat exhibit larger increases in arterial blood pressure. One study found increased cardiovascular activation amongst women who watched a video in which men outnumbered women at a math and science conference. Other studies have similarly found that individuals under stereotype threat display increased heart rates. Stereotype threat may also activate a neuroendocrine stress response, as measured by increased levels of cortisol while under threat. The physiological reactions that are induced by stereotype threat can often be subconscious, and can distract and interrupt cognitive focus from the task.
With regard to performance monitoring and vigilance, studies of brain activity have supported the idea that stereotype threat increases both of these processes. Forbes and colleagues recorded electroencephalogram (EEG) signals that measure electrical activity along the scalp, and found that individuals experiencing stereotype threat were more vigilant for performance-related stimuli.
Another study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate brain activity associated with stereotype threat. The researchers found that women experiencing stereotype threat while taking a math test showed heightened activation in the ventral stream of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a neural region thought to be associated with social and emotional processing. Wraga and colleagues found that women under stereotype threat showed increased activation in the ventral ACC and that the amount of this activation predicted performance decrements on the task. When individuals were made aware of performance-related stimuli, they were more likely to experience stereotype threat.
A study conducted by Boucher, Rydell, Loo, and Rydell has shown that stereotype threat not only affects performance, but can also affect the ability to learn new information. In the study, undergraduate men and women had a session of learning followed by an assessment of what they learned. Some participants were given information intended to induce stereotype threat, and some of these participants were later given "gender fair" information, which it was predicted would reduce or remove stereotype threat. As a result, participants were split into four separate conditions: control group, stereotype threat only, stereotype threat removed before learning, and stereotype threat removed after learning. The results of the study showed that the women who were presented with the "gender fair" information performed better on the math related test than the women who were not presented with this information. This study also showed that it was more beneficial to women for the "gender fair" information to be presented prior to learning rather than after learning. These results suggest that eliminating stereotype threat prior to taking mathematical tests can help women perform better, and that eliminating stereotype threat prior to mathematical learning can help women learn better.
In 1995, Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson performed the first experiments demonstrating that stereotype threat can undermine intellectual performance. Steele and Aronson measured this through a word completion task.
They had African-American and European-American college students take a difficult verbal portion of the Graduate Record Examination test. As would be expected based on national averages , the African-American students did not perform as well on the test. Steele and Aronson split students into three groups: stereotype-threat (in which the test was described as being "diagnostic of intellectual ability"), non-stereotype threat (in which the test was described as "a laboratory problem-solving task that was nondiagnostic of ability"), and a third condition (in which the test was again described as nondiagnostic of ability, but participants were asked to view the difficult test as a challenge). All three groups received the same test.
Steele and Aronson concluded that changing the instructions on the test could reduce African-American students' concern about confirming a negative stereotype about their group. Supporting this conclusion, they found that African-American students who regarded the test as a measure of intelligence had more thoughts related to negative stereotypes of their group. Additionally, they found that African Americans who thought the test measured intelligence were more likely to complete word fragments using words associated with relevant negative stereotypes (e.g., completing "__mb" as "dumb" rather than as "numb").
Adjusted for previous SAT scores, subjects in the non-diagnostic-challenge condition performed significantly better than those in the non-diagnostic-only condition and those in the diagnostic condition. In the first experiment, the race-by-condition interaction was marginally significant. However, the second study reported in the same paper found a significant interaction effect of race and condition. This suggested that placement in the diagnostic condition significantly impacted African Americans compared with European Americans.
Stereotype threat concerns how stereotype cues can harm performance. However, in certain situations, stereotype activation can also lead to performance enhancement through stereotype lift or stereotype boost. Stereotype lift increases performance when people are exposed to negative stereotypes about another group. This enhanced performance has been attributed to increases in self-efficacy and decreases in self-doubt as a result of negative outgroup stereotypes. Stereotype boost suggests that positive stereotypes may enhance performance. Stereotype boost occurs when a positive aspect of an individual's social identity is made salient in an identity-relevant domain. Although stereotype boost is similar to stereotype lift in enhancing performance, stereotype lift is the result of a negative outgroup stereotype, whereas stereotype boost occurs due to activation of a positive ingroup stereotype.
Consistent with the positive racial stereotype concerning their superior quantitative skills, Asian American women performed better on a math test when their Asian identity was primed compared to a control condition where no social identity was primed. Conversely, these participants did worse on the math test when instead their gender identity—which is associated with stereotypes of inferior quantitative skills—was made salient, which is consistent with stereotype threat. Two replications of this result have been attempted. In one case, the effect was only reproduced after excluding participants who were unaware of stereotypes about the mathematical abilities of Asians or women, while the other replication failed to reproduce the original results even considering several moderating variables.
Decreased performance is the most recognized consequence of stereotype threat. However, research has also shown that stereotype threat can cause individuals to blame themselves for perceived failures, self-handicap, discount the value and validity of performance tasks, distance themselves from negatively stereotyped groups, and disengage from situations that are perceived as threatening.
Studies examining stereotype threat in Black Americans have found that when subjects are aware of the stereotype of Black criminality, anxiety about encountering police increases. This, in turn, can lead to self-regulatory efforts, more anxiety, and other behaviors that are commonly perceived as suspicious to police officers. Because police officers tend to perceive Black people as threatening, their reactions to these anxiety-induced behaviors are commonly more harsh than reactions to White people with the same behavior, and influences whether or not they decide to shoot the person.
In the long run, the chronic experience of stereotype threat may lead individuals to disidentify with the stereotyped group. For example, a woman may stop seeing herself as "a math person" after experiencing a series of situations in which she experienced stereotype threat. This disidentification is thought to be a psychological coping strategy to maintain self-esteem in the face of failure. Repeated exposure to anxiety and nervousness can lead individuals to choose to distance themselves from the stereotyped group.
Although much of the research on stereotype threat has examined the effects of coping with negative stereotype on academic performance, recently there has been an emphasis on how coping with stereotype threat could "spillover" to dampen self-control and thereby affect a much broader category of behaviors, even in non-stereotyped domains. Research by Michael Inzlicht and colleagues suggest that, when women cope with negative stereotypes about their math ability, they perform worse on math tests, and that, after completing the math test, women may continue to show deficits even in unrelated domains. For example, women might overeat, be more aggressive, make more risky decisions, and show less endurance during physical exercise.
The perceived discrimination associated with stereotype threat can also have negative long-term consequences on individuals' mental health. Perceived discrimination has been extensively investigated in terms of its effects on mental health, with a particular emphasis on depression. Cross-sectional studies involving diverse minority groups, including those relating to internalized racism, have found that individuals who experience more perceived discrimination are more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms. Additionally, perceived discrimination has also been found to predict depressive symptoms in children and adolescents. Other negative mental health outcomes associated with perceived discrimination include a reduced general well-being, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and rebellious behavior. A meta-analysis conducted by Pascoe and Smart Richman has shown that the strong link between perceived discrimination and negative mental health persists even after controlling for factors such as education, socioeconomic status, and employment.
Additional research seeks ways to boost the test scores and academic achievement of students in negatively stereotyped groups. There are many ways to combat the effects of stereotype threat.
The stereotype threat explanation of achievement gaps has attracted criticism. According to Paul R. Sackett, Chaitra M. Hardison, and Michael J. Cullen, both the media and scholarly literature have wrongly concluded that eliminating stereotype threat could completely eliminate differences in test performance between European Americans and African Americans. Sackett et al. have pointed out that, in Steele and Aronson's (1995) experiments where stereotype threat was removed, an achievement gap of approximately one standard deviation remained between the groups, which is very close in size to that routinely reported between African American and European Americans' average scores on large-scale standardized tests such as the SAT. In subsequent correspondence between Sackett et al. and Steele and Aronson, Sackett et al. wrote that "They [Steele and Aronson] agree that it is a misinterpretation of the Steele and Aronson (1995) results to conclude that eliminating stereotype threat eliminates the African American-White test-score gap."
Arthur R. Jensen criticised stereotype threat theory on the basis that it invokes an additional mechanism to explain effects which could be, according to him, explained by other, well-known, and well-established theories, such as test anxiety and especially the Yerkes–Dodson law. In Jensen's view, the effects which are attributed to stereotype threat may simply reflect "the interaction of ability level with test anxiety as a function of test complexity". However Diamond et al state "that one problem with the Yerkes-Dodson law is that it invokes an ill-defined distinction between 'simple' versus 'complex' tasks." They further articulate that, "Yerkes and Dodson may have the dubious distinction to be the most highly cited, but largely unread, paper in the history of science."
In 2009, Wei examined real-world testing over a broad population (rather than lab assessments with questionable external validity), and found a reverse stereotype threat: a randomly assigned question actually raised female students' scores by 0.05 standard deviations. An earlier experiment with Advanced Placement exams found no effects that were 'practically significant,' but does show 'statistically significant' effect.
Gijsbert Stoet and David C. Geary reviewed the evidence for the stereotype threat explanation of the achievement gap in mathematics between men and women. They concluded that the relevant stereotype threat research has many methodological problems, such as not having a control group, and that the stereotype threat literature on this topic misrepresents itself as "well established". They concluded that the evidence is in fact very weak.
The strength and type of the effect has also been questioned. Flore and Wicherts concluded the reported effect is small, but also that the field is inflated by publication bias. They argue that, correcting for this, the most likely true effect size is near zero (see meta-analytic plot, highlighting both the restriction of large effect to low-powered studies, and the plot asymmetry which occurs when publication bias is active).
Earlier meta-analyses reached similar conclusions. For instance, Ganley et al. (2013) examined math stereotype threat in a well-powered (total N ~ 1000) multi-experiment study. This allowed examination of potential moderators such as age and implicit vs explicit methods. Significant gender differences in math were found, but "no evidence that the mathematics performance of school-age girls was impacted by stereotype threat" was found. Further, they found that evidence for stereotype threat in children reflects publication bias: large, well-controlled studies find smaller or non-significant effects, while among the many underpowered studies run, researchers selectively published those in which false-positive effects reached significance:
nonsignificant findings were almost always reported in an article along with some significant stereotype threat effects found either at another age (Ambady et al., 2001; Muzzatti & Agnoli, 2007), only with certain students (Keller, 2007), on certain items (Keller, 2007; Neuville & Croizet, 2007), or in certain contexts (Huguet & Regner, 2007, Study 2; Picho & Stephens, 2012; Tomasetto et al., 2011). Importantly, none of the three unpublished dissertations showed a stereotype threat effect. This observation suggests the possibility that publication bias is occurring. Publication bias refers to the fact that studies with null results are often not written up for publication or accepted for publication (Begg, 1994). This bias is a serious concern, especially if these results are being used to make recommendations for interventions.
The single largest experimental test of stereotype threat (N = 2064) found no effect.
the phenomenon of stereotype threat can be explained in terms of a more general construct, test anxiety, which has been studied since the early days of psychometrics. Test anxiety tends to lower performance levels on tests in proportion to the degree of complexity and the amount of mental effort they require of the subject. The relatively greater effect of test anxiety in the black samples, who had somewhat lower SAT scores, than the white subjects in the Stanford experiments constitutes an example of the Yerkes-Dodson law ... by conducting the same type of experiment using exclusively white (or black) subjects, divided into lower- and higher-ability groups, it might be shown that the phenomenon attributed to stereotype threat has nothing to do with race as such, but results from the interaction of ability level with test anxiety as a function of test complexity.
Claude Mason Steele (born January 1, 1946) is an African-American social psychologist. He was the executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, Berkeley, and he currently serves as a professor of psychology at Stanford University.He is the I. James Quillen Endowed Dean, Emeritus at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences, Emeritus at Stanford. He served as the 21st provost of Columbia University for two years. Before that, he had been a professor of psychology at various institutions for almost 40 years.
He is best known for his work on stereotype threat and its application to minority student academic performance. His earlier work dealt with research on the self (like self-image and self-affirmation) as well as the role of self-regulation in addictive behaviors.In 2010, he released his book, Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us, summarizing years of research on stereotype threat and the underperformance of minority students in higher education.Internalized racism
Internalized racism is a form of internalized oppression, defined by sociologist Karen D. Pyke as the "internalization of racial oppression by the racially subordinated." In her study The Psychology of Racism, Robin Nicole Johnson emphasizes that internalized racism involves both "conscious and unconscious acceptance of a racial hierarchy in which whites are consistently ranked above people of color." These definitions encompass a wide range of instances, including, but not limited to, belief in negative racial stereotypes, adaptations to white cultural standards, and thinking that supports the status quo (i.e. denying that racism exists).Internalized racism as a phenomenon is a direct product of a racial classification system, and is found across different racial groups and regions around the world where race exists as a social construct. In these places, internalized racism can have adverse effects on those who experience it. For example, high internalized racism scores have been linked to poor health outcomes among Caribbean black women, higher propensity for violence among African American young males, and increased domestic violence among Native American populations in the US.Responses to internalized racism have been varied. Many of the approaches focus on dispelling false narratives learned from racial oppression. An example of opposition to internalized racism is the "Black is beautiful" cultural movement in the US, which sought to "directly attack [the] ideology" that blackness was ugly.Interviewer effect
The interviewer effect (also called interviewer variance or interviewer error) is the distortion of response to a personal or telephone interview which results from differential reactions to the social style and personality of interviewers or to their presentation of particular questions. The use of fixed-wording questions is one method of reducing interviewer bias. Anthropological research and case-studies are also affected by the problem, which is exacerbated by the self-fulfilling prophecy, when the researcher is also the interviewer it is also any effect on data gathered from interviewing people that is caused by the behavior or characteristics (real or perceived) of the interviewer.
Interviewer effects can also be associated with the characteristics of the interviewer, such as race. Whether black respondents are interviewed by white interviewers or black interviewers has a strong impact on their responses to both attitude questions and behavioral ones. In the latter case, for example, if black respondents are interviewed by black interviewers in pre-election surveys, they are more likely to actually vote in the upcoming election than if they are interviewed by white interviewers.Furthermore, the race of the interviewer can also affect answers to factual questions that might take the form of a test of how informed the respondent is. Black respondents in a survey of political knowledge, for example, get fewer correct answers to factual questions about politics when interviewed by white interviewers than when interviewed by black interviewers. This is consistent with the research literature on stereotype threat, which finds diminished test performance of potentially stigmatised groups when the interviewer or test supervisor is from a perceived higher status group.
Interviewer effects can be mitigated somewhat by randomly assigning subjects to different interviewers, or by using tools such as computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI).Joshua Aronson
Joshua Michael Aronson is an American social psychologist and Associate Professor of Applied Psychology at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He is known for his pioneering work on stereotype threat, which he conducted in the 1990s along with Claude Steele and Steven Spencer. This work has shown that female, minority, and low-income children are stereotyped as performing worse on standardized tests, and that when they are taught to overcome these stereotypes, their standardized test scores improve. He also co-authored a study in 2009 in which he reported no evidence that African Americans' test scores had improved as a result of the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States the previous year.Mathematical anxiety
Mathematical anxiety is anxiety about one's ability to do mathematics. It is a phenomenon that is often considered when examining students' problems in mathematics.Michael Inzlicht
Michael Inzlicht is professor of psychology at the University of Toronto recognized in the areas of social psychology and neuroscience. Although he has published papers on the topics of prejudice, academic performance, and religion, his most recent interests have been in the topics of self-control, where he borrows methods from affective and cognitive neuroscience to understand the underlying nature of self-control, including how it is driven by motivation.In the early 2000s, he and his colleagues claimed to demonstrate that small, seemingly benign characteristics of an environment could play a large role in determining how stereotyped groups perform on academic tests. They found, for example, that the number of men in a small group could determine whether women succeeded (fewer men) or failed (more men) a math test. Although this work on stereotype threat was well received, Professor Inzlicht has of late suggested that work on stereotype threat might not be replicable.In his more recent work, Professor Inzlicht has primarily focused on improving our understanding of self-control and the related concepts of cognitive control and executive function (mental processes that allow behavior to vary adaptively depending on current goals). Much of his work explores the building blocks of control, including its neural, cognitive, emotional, and motivational foundations. At the same time—and at a different level of analysis—he also explores the various ways that self-control can be influenced by various cultural and situational factors, including mindfulness meditation, quality of motivation, religious belief, and stigmatization. Another feature of his work is that he takes a social affective neuroscience approach to address questions of interest. Thus, he combines neuroimaging, cognitive reaction time, physiological, and behavioral techniques to understand and explain social behaviour. This interdisciplinary approach provides a fuller, more integrated understanding of social behavior, emotion, and the brain.In recent years, Professor Inzlicht's has become a vocal and often passionate advocate for open science reform. Part of his advocacy included not only criticizing the status quo and lamenting the clear evidence that psychology was suffering from a replication crisis; but also examining his own past scientific work, asking how much his own work might be simply false.Moisés Salinas
Moisés Salinas Fleitman is a scholar of developmental and social psychology, a multi-cultural educator, a Zionist political activist, and the former Chief diversity officer at Central Connecticut State University and Rector (academia) at ORT University Mexico.Oppositional culture
Oppositional culture, also known as the ‘’blocked opportunities framework’’ or the “caste theory of education”, is a term most commonly used in studying the sociology of education to explain racial disparities in educational achievement, particularly between white and black Americans. However, the term refers to any subculture's rejection of conformity to prevailing norms and values, not just nonconformity within the educational system. Thus many criminal gangs and religious cults could also be considered oppositional cultures.Pygmalion effect
The Pygmalion effect, or Rosenthal effect, is the phenomenon whereby others' expectations of a target person affect the target person's performance. The effect is named after the Greek myth of Pygmalion, a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had carved, or alternately, after the Rosenthal–Jacobson study (see below).
A corollary of the Pygmalion effect is the golem effect, in which low expectations lead to a decrease in performance; both effects are forms of self-fulfilling prophecy. By the Pygmalion effect, people internalize their positive labels, and those with positive labels succeed accordingly. The idea behind the Pygmalion effect is that increasing the leader's expectation of the follower's performance will result in better follower performance. Within sociology, the effect is often cited with regard to education and social class. The concept of stereotype threat could be considered to be the inverse of the Pygmalion effect, as it denotes a negative form of self-fulfilling prophecy.Reactivity (psychology)
Reactivity is a phenomenon that occurs when individuals alter their performance or behavior due to the awareness that they are being observed. The change may be positive or negative, and depends on the situation. It is a significant threat to a research study's external validity and is typically controlled for using blind experiment designs.
There are several forms of reactivity. The Hawthorne effect occurs when research study participants know they are being studied and alter their performance because of the attention they receive from the experimenters. The John Henry effect, a specific form of Hawthorne effect, occurs when the participants in the control group alter their behavior out of awareness that they are in the control group.
Reactivity is not limited to changes in behaviour in relation to being merely observed; it can also refer to situations where individuals alter their behavior to conform to the expectations of the observer.
An experimenter effect occurs when the experimenters subtly communicate their expectations to the participants, who alter their behavior to conform to these expectations. The Pygmalion effect occurs when students alter their behavior to meet teacher expectations. Both experimenter effects and Pygmalion effects can be caused by bias and stereotyping, as demonstrated by studies involving stereotype threat.
Reactivity can also occur in response to self-report measures if the measure is elicited from research participants during a task. For example, both confidence ratings and judgments of learning, which are often provided repeatedly throughout cognitive assessments of learning and reasoning, have been found to be reactive. In addition there may be important individual differences in how participants react to a particular self-report measure.
Espeland & Sauder (2007) took a reactivity lens to investigate how rankings of educational institutions change expectations and permeate institutions. These authors investigate the consequences, both intended and unintended, of such public measures.A common solution to reactivity is unobtrusive research that can replace or augment reactive research. Unobtrusive research refers to methods in which the researchers are able to obtain information without interfering in the research itself. Results gathered from unobtrusive methods tend to have very high test-retest reliability.SAT
The SAT ( ess-ay-TEE) is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. Since it was debuted by the College Board in 1926, its name and scoring have changed several times; originally called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, it was later called the Scholastic Assessment Test, then the SAT I: Reasoning Test, then the SAT Reasoning Test, then simply the SAT.
The SAT is wholly owned, developed, and published by the College Board, a private, non-profit organization in the United States. It is administered on behalf of the College Board by the Educational Testing Service, which until recently developed the SAT as well. The test is intended to assess students' readiness for college. The SAT was originally designed not to be aligned with high school curricula, but several adjustments were made for the version of the SAT introduced in 2016, and College Board president, David Coleman, has said that he also wanted to make the test reflect more closely what students learn in high school with the new Common Core standards.On March 5, 2014, the College Board announced that a redesigned version of the SAT would be administered for the first time in 2016. The current SAT, introduced in 2016, takes three hours to finish, plus 50 minutes for the SAT with essay, and as of 2017 costs US$45 (US$57 with the optional essay), excluding late fees, with additional processing fees if the SAT is taken outside the United States. Scores on the SAT range from 400 to 1600, combining test results from two 800-point sections: mathematics, and critical reading and writing. Although taking the SAT, or its competitor the ACT, is required for freshman entry to many colleges and universities in the United States many colleges and universities are experimenting with test-optional admission requirements and alternatives to the SAT and ACT. Starting with the 2015–16 school year, the College Board began working with Khan Academy to provide free SAT preparation.Self-concept
One's self-concept (also called self-construction, self-identity, self-perspective or self-structure) is a collection of beliefs about oneself. Generally, self-concept embodies the answer to "Who am I?".
Self-concept is distinguishable from self-awareness, which refers to the extent to which self-knowledge is defined, consistent, and currently applicable to one's attitudes and dispositions. Self-concept also differs from self-esteem: self-concept is a cognitive or descriptive component of one's self (e.g. "I am a fast runner"), while self-esteem is evaluative and opinionated (e.g. "I feel good about being a fast runner").
Self-concept is made up of one's self-schemas, and interacts with self-esteem, self-knowledge, and the social self to form the self as whole. It includes the past, present, and future selves, where future selves (or possible selves) represent individuals' ideas of what they might become, what they would like to become, or what they are afraid of becoming. Possible selves may function as incentives for certain behavior.The perception people have about their past or future selves relates to their perception of their current selves. The temporal self-appraisal theory argues that people have a tendency to maintain a positive self-evaluation by distancing themselves from their negative self and paying more attention to their positive one. In addition, people have a tendency to perceive the past self less favorably (e.g. "I'm better than I used to be") and the future self more positively (e.g. "I will be better than I am now").Self-confidence
The concept of self-confidence self-assurance in one's personal judgment, ability, power, etc. One's self confidence increases from experiences of having mastered particular activities. It is a positive belief that in the future one can generally accomplish what one wishes to do. Self-confidence is not the same as self-esteem, which is an evaluation of one's own worth, whereas self-confidence is more specifically trust in one's ability to achieve some goal, which one meta-analysis suggested is similar to generalization of self-efficacy. Abraham Maslow and many others after him have emphasized the need to distinguish between self-confidence as a generalized personality characteristic, and self-confidence with respect to a specific task, ability or challenge (i.e. self-efficacy). Self-confidence typically refers to general self-confidence. This is different from self-efficacy, which psychologist Albert Bandura has defined as a “belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task” and therefore is the term that more accurately refers to specific self-confidence. Psychologists have long noted that a person can possess self-confidence that he or she can complete a specific task (self-efficacy) (e.g. cook a good meal or write a good novel) even though they may lack general self-confidence, or conversely be self-confident though they lack the self-efficacy to achieve a particular task (e.g. write a novel). These two types of self-confidence are, however, correlated with each other, and for this reason can be easily conflated.Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities
Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities (ISBN 9780805827927) is a book by Diane Halpern published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates in 2000, and now in its fourth edition. Diane Halpern served as president of the American Psychological Association in 2004.
Halpern writes that gender differences in cognitive abilities can be caused by a "stereotype threat", defined as "the fear of conforming to a negative stereotype associated with one’s group membership, which paradoxically results in the individual behaving in line with the stereotype". If an individual is made aware of a stereotype then "the activation of stereotypes might explain why the magnitude of sex differences in sex-sensitive cognitive task varies across studies, depending on whether participants gender-stereotypes are activated or not".Sociology of race and ethnic relations
The sociology of race and ethnic relations is the study of social, political, and economic relations between races and ethnicities at all levels of society. This area encompasses the study of systemic racism, like residential segregation and other complex social processes between different racial and ethnic groups. The sociological analysis of race and ethnicity frequently interacts with other areas of sociology such as, but not limited to, stratification and social psychology, as well as with postcolonial theory.
At the level of political policy, ethnic relations is discussed in terms of either assimilationism or multiculturalism. Anti-racism forms another style of policy, particularly popular in the 1960s and 1970s. At the level of academic inquiry, ethnic relations is discussed either by the experiences of individual racial-ethnic groups or else by overarching theoretical issues.Stanley O. Gaines
Stanley O. Gaines, Jr. is a Social Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at Brunel University. Gaines is the lead author of Culture, Ethnicity, and Personal Relationship Processes, published by Routledge in 1997 (ISBN 9780415916530).Stereotype
In social psychology, a stereotype is an over-generalized belief about a particular category of people. Stereotypes are generalized because one assumes that the stereotype is true for each individual person in the category. While such generalizations may be useful when making quick decisions, they may be erroneous when applied to particular individuals. Stereotypes encourage prejudice and may arise for a number of reasons.Steven Neuberg
Steven L. Neuberg is an experimental social psychologist whose research has contributed to topics pertaining to person perception, impression formation, stereotyping, prejudice, self-fulfilling prophecies, stereotype threat, and prosocial behavior. His research can be broadly characterized as exploring the ways motives and goals shape social thought processes; extending this approach, his later work employs the adaptationist logic of evolutionary psychology to inform the study of social cognition and social behavior. Neuberg has published over sixty scholarly articles and chapters, and has co-authored a multi-edition social psychology textbook with his colleagues Douglas Kenrick and Robert Cialdini.Women in STEM fields
Many scholars and policymakers have noted that the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have remained predominantly male with historically low participation among women since their origins during the Age of Enlightenment.
Scholars are exploring the various reasons for the continued existence of this gender disparity in STEM fields. Those who view this disparity as resulting from discriminatory forces are also seeking ways to redress this disparity within STEM fields (these typically construed as well-compensated, high-status professions with universal career appeal). Some proponents view diversity as an inherent human good, and wish to increase diversity for its own sake, regardless of its historical origin or present cause.