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Stereotype threat is defined as the experience of anxiety when faced with a confirmable stereotype (Steele & Aronson, 1995). Often anxiety obstructs cognitive.

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Presentation on theme: "Stereotype threat is defined as the experience of anxiety when faced with a confirmable stereotype (Steele & Aronson, 1995). Often anxiety obstructs cognitive."— Presentation transcript:

1 Stereotype threat is defined as the experience of anxiety when faced with a confirmable stereotype (Steele & Aronson, 1995). Often anxiety obstructs cognitive functioning, resulting in poor performance in academic settings. Stereotype threat results from environmental stimuli that make group status salient. −(e.g., being the only woman in the room, a TV show displaying a group in stereotypical way, or explicit racist statements by another person) Any social group has the potential to be victimized by stereotype threat, if there is a common stereotype concerning them. Consequences of Repeated Exposure to Stereotype Threat Physical −Blood pressure increases under stereotype threat. −Repeated blood pressure spikes are known to lead to hypertension and chronic stress. −Chronic stress is associated with deterioration of cognitive and physical functioning, cardiovascular disease, immune disorders, and depression. Academic −Stereotype threat causes under performance in testing. −Consistent stereotype threat may lead to an ambiguous academic self-concept, by undermining confidence in specific academic domains. Stereotype Vulnerability Stereotype Threat Participants Stress & ASCC Measures Baseline cortisol will be used as a measure of stress levels. Cortisol is the biological hormone directly related to both chronic stress and hypertension. In addition, cortisol is a more accurate measure of chronic stress than diastolic blood pressure, which has been used in previous research. Cortisol samples will be compared to scores on the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen et al. 1983), shown correlate to be highly correlated with cortisol levels. Academic-self concept Implicit Association Task Clarity of academic self-concept will be examined by a timed me/not me identification task of academic and non-academic words. For example, participants will be shown the word analytical and asked to categorize it rapidly as relating to themselves or not. Greater intervals in identification will evidence indecision. Primary Objective & Research Questions I would like to thank my mentors, Dr. Joshua Aronson and Dr. David Amodio, as well as all of the members of our research team. Acknowledgements The Educational and Health Disparities Associated with Repeated Exposure to Stereotype Threat Jonathan M. Dubois New York University Individuals perceive stereotype threat to different degrees and respond to it in different ways. Their experience is moderated by factors such as: Stigma Consciousness Group Identification Domain Identification Acceptance of Stereotypes Individuals who identify to a greater degree with one or more of these factors are considered stereotype vulnerable. −Stereotype vulnerable individuals are likely to perform worse when faced with stereotype threat. −Stereotype vulnerable individuals may also perceive, and therefore experience stereotype threat more often. National Health Disparities −African Americans experience chronic stress and hypertension 14% more often than European Americans. −Very little research has been done to determine if repetitive stereotype threat is associated with the later experience of chronic stress and hypertension. Education Achievement Gap −17% of African Americans gain college degrees, as compared to 31% of European Americans and 51% of Asian Americans. −Psychological theories of intelligence suggest that academic self-concept clarity (ASCC) might be a primary factor in academic and general life success. −While research has shown that stereotype threat causes poor test performance, the relationship between stereotype threat and general academic achievement has not been examined. The goal of the present study is to provide evidence that repetitive stereotype threat may play a role in racial disparities in health and academic outcomes. Specific questions for the present study: –Is vulnerability to stereotype threat associated with symptoms of chronic stress? –Is vulnerability to stereotype threat associated with academic self-concept clarity? It was hypothesized that stereotype vulnerability would be associate with both of these variables. 100 African American women ages will be recruited from universities in the New York City area. Participants will be randomly assigned to two groups. –Stereotype threat –This group will be administered a sample GRE by a White experimenter thereby making race salient. –The test will be framed as a measure of intelligence to activate the common stereotype that African Americans are not intelligent. –Non-Stereotype threat –This group will receive the same test by the same experimenter, although it will be framed as non- diagnostic measure. This should prevent the stereotype from being perceived while testing. Vulnerability Measures Vulnerability will be determined by the performance of participants under conditions of stereotype threat, since previous research has found that vulnerable individuals tend to underperform to a greater extent than less vulnerable individuals. Performance under stereotype threat will be compared to scores on the RS-Race Scale (Mendoza-Denton et al., 2002), which measures the expectation and perception of rejection based on race. Preliminary Results Preliminary results with 11 participants show a significant trend (r =.64, p <.10) between the perceived stress scale for chronic stress and the RS-Race Scale, which measured stereotype vulnerability. Stereotype vulnerability and questionnaire measures of academic self-concept clarity did not show a significant correlation (r =.36, p =.35). However, implicit lab procedures for all variables and a larger sample size should produce statistically significant results. Rationale Implications These results show that stereotype vulnerability might be related to racial disparities in health, especially differences in hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The relation between academic self-concept clarity and stereotype threat might also prove to be significant in further testing, which would link stereotype threat to larger educational and achievement gaps. Therefore vulnerability to stereotype threat should be the target of further research aimed at understanding the causes and potential solutions to repetitive stereotype threat.


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