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SwCA Episode 151: Stereotype Threat does not exist.

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Courtney Elizabeth Anderson

Courtney Elizabeth Anderson


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SHOW NOTES: In the MYTH WARRIORS™ series we are targeting ideas to begin to assess whether they are credible or not. We are warriors fighting to establish clarity between what is accurate and what is simply a myth (or falsehood) in life. All of this is in furtherance of our mission to surpass our goals! In this episode we explore, “Stereotype Threat does not exist.”

What is a Stereotype?

"Stereotypes are widely held cultural beliefs that are resistant to change." 

(Block, Koch, Liberman, Merriweather, & Roberson, 2011)

What is Stereotype Threat?

“The phenomenon known as “stereotype threat.” Members of groups believed to be academically inferior — African-American and Latino students enrolled in college, or female students in math and science courses — score much lower on tests when reminded beforehand of their race or gender. […] found that black students performed comparably with white students when told that the test they were taking was “a laboratory problem-solving task.” Black students scored much lower, however, when they were instructed that the test was meant to measure their intellectual ability. In effect, the prospect of social evaluation suppressed these students’ intelligence.”

Minorities aren’t the only ones vulnerable to stereotype threat. We all are. A group of people notably confident about their mathematical abilities — white male math and engineering majors who received high scores on the math portion of the SAT — did worse on a math test when told that the experiment was intended to investigate “why Asians appear to outperform other students on tests of math ability.” (PAUL, 2012)

Does it exist?

Other resources - 

Dr. Kenneth Clark Conducting