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Implicit Bias and Stereotype Threat in Higher Education Rutgers Psychology Department Rachel D. Godsil Seton Hall University School of Law.

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Presentation on theme: "Implicit Bias and Stereotype Threat in Higher Education Rutgers Psychology Department Rachel D. Godsil Seton Hall University School of Law."— Presentation transcript:

1 Implicit Bias and Stereotype Threat in Higher Education Rutgers Psychology Department Rachel D. Godsil Seton Hall University School of Law

2 “Human intelligence is among the most fragile things in nature. It doesn’t take much to distract it, suppress it, or even annihilate it.” --Neil Postman

3 The role of attitudes Attitude—is relevant to almost every topic in social psychology. It is relevant to the self- concept, person perception, intergroup relations, close relationships, social influence, helping, and aggression. ---Nilanjana Dasgupta

4 Pre-college experience

5 King County Children

6 Mixed Picture of Success Percentages of high school graduates from King County who go to college: 75.6% Asian/Pacific Islander 62.8% White 61.2% African American 49.5% Latino 42.7% American Indian/Alaska Native

7 Race and Suspension (Losen & Martinez, 2013)

8 We know teachers want to be fair “disrespect or loitering.” (Losen & Martinez, 2013) 62 points on the SAT (Watson & Sencer, 2012) less critical feedback and over- praise. (Harber, 2012)

9 Dynamics Replicated Implicit Biases Racial Anxieties Stereotype Threats

10 Name the colors of the text below.

11 Name the colors of the text below

12 How do we measure bias? Implicit Association Test (found at Project Implicit) Measures time differences between “schema consistent pairings” and “scheme inconsistent pairings” Most people perform second task more slowly.

13 Tom Meyer (White) Tom Meyer (Black)  “generally good writer but needs to work on”  “has potential”  “good analytic skills”  2.9/7 spelling grammar errors were found  4.1/6 technical writing errors found  “needs lots of work”  “can’t believe he went to NYU”  “average at best”  5.8/7 spelling grammar errors found  4.9/6 technical writing errors found The Race Effect (2014 Nextions study) 5/2/2015

14 Failure to Warn (Cronin et al, 2006) Unwarranted Praise (Harber, 2012)  Calculus and Chemistry ◦ Best subjects history and biology/worst is math ◦ Tutoring? ◦ Time for other activities? ◦ How difficult?  Too hard?  For White students but not for Black students (if the peer advisor is worried about seeming racist)  Poorly written essay – what kind of feedback ◦ Praise and little criticism to Black and Latino students. ◦ Critiques for White students. ◦ Except if teacher feels supported by principal – then Black and White students treated the same. ◦ Latino students still overly praised. Consequences of “kindness”


16 Displaying Implicit Bias Who does the Professor call on? How are answers received? Body language after class or in the halls? What about other students?

17 What can be done? Identify actions linked to stereotypes Make accessible counter-stereotypic images Individuation Empathic perspective- taking Inter-racial engagement (Devine et al. 2012)

18 Resilliance Strategies Anticipation and detachment ( Defoe, 2013) The Role of Networks We are not homogenous – and will experience our identities – gender, race, ethnicity, class -differently. If and when experience stereotyping behavior, work to develop a sense of objectivity (it’s them, not me). Ideally, both within group and inter-group for combination of support and perspective. Mentors can serve as exemplars and guides. Develop a comfort with authentic presentation of self.

19 Stereotype Threat Steele & Aronson (1995)

20 Key Conclusions From Over 350 Published Studies Underestimate academic capacity of ST threatened students by.18 standard deviation akin to 62 points on SAT ( Walton & Spencer meta analysis, 2009) Impairment occurs on tests, can affect GPA, and in- class experience due to vigilance for cues of bias (e.g. Sherman et al., 2013) Impairment on tests results from anxiety, arousal, reduced working memory capacity, impaired self- regulation; not typically a function of reduced effort; induces high blood pressure (Aronson, 2012) Is less likely when there is “critical mass” (adapted in part from Aronson, 2012)

21 the stories that The stories students tell themselves in moments of transition can have lasting impact as they are in the opening passage of their narrative. (Walton & Cohen, 2011); Wilson, 2011)

22 Direct Interventions Social belonging: survey results that upper-year students of all races felt out of place when they began but that the feeling abated over time. Wise criticism: Feedback that communicates both high expectations and a confidence that an individual can meet those expectations. Behavioral scripts: Clear norms of behavior and terms of discussion can reduce racial anxiety and prevent stereotype threat from being triggered. Growth mindset: Teaching people that abilities are learnable/incremental, rather than fixed. Value-affirmation: Encouraging students to recall their values and reasons for engaging in a task. (Godsil et al., 2014; Erman & Walton, 2014)

23 Stereotype inoculation model Gender composition of STEM environment STEM attitudes STEM identification Self-efficacy, behaviors show interest Future career intentions about STEM Identification with STEM experts (moderator) Identification with STEM experts (moderator) Professors Other experts Other experts Student sex (moderator) Student sex (moderator) Peers Stout, Dasgupta, Hunsinger, & McManus (2011). STEMing the tide: Using ingroup experts to inoculate women’s self-concept in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100,

24 Wise Criticism (Cohen, Steele, & Ross, 1999)

25 How We Use Our Power Michelle Adams, Brown ‘85

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