Friday, March 29, 2013

Stereotype Threat

Here is a collection of recent papers on stereotype threat that caught my eye...

Shapiro, Jenessa R.; Williams, Amy M.; Hambarchyan, Mariam  "Are all interventions created equal? A multi-threat approach to tailoring stereotype threat interventions." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 104(2), Feb 2013, 277-288.
"To date, stereotype threat interventions have been considered interchangeable. Across 4 experiments, the present research demonstrates that stereotype threat interventions need to be tailored to the specific form of experienced stereotype threat to be effective. The Multi-Threat Framework (Shapiro & Neuberg, 2007) distinguishes between group-as-target stereotype threats—concerns that a stereotype-relevant performance will reflect poorly on the abilities of one's group—and self-as-target stereotype threats—concerns that a stereotype-relevant performance will reflect poorly on one's own abilities. The present experiments explored Black college students' performance on diagnostic intelligence tests (Experiments 1 and 3) and women's interest (Experiment 2) and performance (Experiment 4) in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Across the 4 experiments, participants were randomly assigned to experience either a group-as-target or self-as-target stereotype threat. Experiments 1 and 2 revealed that role model interventions were successful at protecting only against group-as-target stereotype threats, and Experiments 3 and 4 revealed that self-affirmation interventions were successful at protecting only against self-as-target stereotype threats. The present research provides an experimental test of the Multi-Threat Framework across different negatively stereotyped groups (Black students, female students), different negatively stereotyped domains (general intelligence, STEM), and different outcomes (test performance, career interest). This research suggests that interventions should address the range of possible stereotype threats to effectively protect individuals against these threats. Through an appreciation of the distinct forms of stereotype threats and the ways in which interventions work to reduce them, this research aims to facilitate a more complete understanding of stereotype threat."

Woodcock, Anna; Hernandez, Paul R.; Estrada, Mica; Schultz, P. Wesley The consequences of chronic stereotype threat: Domain disidentification and abandonment. Pages 635-646 Oct 2012, JPSP

"Stereotype threat impairs performance across many domains. Despite a wealth of research, the long-term consequences of chronic stereotype threat have received little empirical attention. Beyond the immediate impact on performance, the experience of chronic stereotype threat is hypothesized to lead to domain disidentification and eventual domain abandonment. Stereotype threat is 1 explanation why African Americans and Hispanic/Latino(a)s “leak” from each juncture of the academic scientific pipeline in disproportionately greater numbers than their White and Asian counterparts. Using structural equation modeling, we tested the stereotype threat-disidentification hypothesis across 3 academic years with a national longitudinal panel of undergraduate minority science students. Experience of stereotype threat was associated with scientific disidentification, which in turn predicted a significant decline in the intention to pursue a scientific career. Race/ethnicity moderated this effect, whereby the effect was evident for Hispanic/Latino(a) students but not for all African American students. We discuss findings in terms of understanding chronic stereotype threat. "

And a critical review on stereotype threat:

Gijsbert Stoet , David C. Geary, Review of General Psychology, 2012, Vol. 16, No. 1, 93–102

"Men and women score similarly in most areas of mathematics, but a gap favoring men is consistently found at the high end of performance. One explanation for this gap, stereotype threat, was first proposed by Spencer, Steele, and Quinn (1999) and has received much attention. We discuss merits and shortcomings of this study and review replication attempts. Only 55% of the articles with experimental designs that could have replicated the original results did so. But half of these were confounded by statistical adjustment of preexisting mathematics exam scores. Of the unconfounded experiments, only 30% replicated the original. A meta-analysis of these effects confirmed that only the group of studies with adjusted mathematics scores displayed the stereotype threat effect. We conclude that although stereotype threat may affect some women, the existing state of knowledge does not support the current level of enthusiasm for this as a mechanism underlying the gender gap in mathematics. We argue there are many reasons to close this gap, and that too much weight on the stereotype explanation may hamper research and implementation of effective interventions."

This paper, I guess because of its controversy, has received some attention at science daily blog 
"A University of Missouri researcher and his colleague have conducted a review that casts doubt on the accuracy of a popular theory that attempted to explain why there are more men than women in top levels of mathematic fields. The researchers found that numerous studies claiming that the stereotype, "men are better at math" -- believed to undermine women's math performance -- had major methodological flaws, utilized improper statistical techniques, and many studies had no scientific evidence of this stereotype."

I would be happy for comments, as it seems a big literature which I am somewhat familiar with but not really an expert on, I myself have never tried to manipulate stereotype threat...

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