Lack of Stereotype Threat at a Liberal Arts College

By Rivardo, Mark G.; Rhodes, Michael E. et al. | College Student Journal, September 2008 | Go to article overview

Lack of Stereotype Threat at a Liberal Arts College


Rivardo, Mark G., Rhodes, Michael E., Klein, Brandi, College Student Journal


Stereotype threat has been demonstrated to reduce the performance of stereotyped individuals in the threatened domain (Steele & Aronson, 1995). This study attempted to replicate the finding that stereotype threat instruction can erase the performance deficit women experience in math performance (Johns, Schmader, & Martens, 2005) and to further evaluate the arousal hypothesis of stereotype threat (e.g. Ben-Zeev, Fein & Inzlicht, 2005). The study provided no evidence of stereotype threat F(2, 91) = 1.60, p = .208, partial [h.sup.2] = .034. Stereotype threat may be less likely to affect performance at a small, liberal arts institution where the learning environment is both nurturing and personal.

**********

Stereotype threat occurs when members of a negatively stereotyped group are put in a situation where their performance on a given task could confirm the stereotype (Steele & Aronson, 1995). The pressure caused by this knowledge can hinder performance on the task and make confirmation of the stereotype more likely. For example, African-American participants performed worse when a task was described as being diagnostic of intellectual ability, than when it was simply described as an instrument for studying problem solving (Steele & Aronson, 1995). Researchers have also examined stereotype threat in other stereotyped groups and tasks, such as women and math (e.g. BenZeev, Fein, & Inzlicht, 2005; O'Brien & Crandall, 2003; Spencer, Steele & Quinn, 1999), and Black and White athletic performance (Stone, Lynch, Sjomeling, & Darley, 1999).

Research clearly indicates that the effects of stereotype threat can vary based upon individual differences in coping. Some participants engage in self-handicapping such as withdrawing effort (Steele & Aronson, 1995) or engaging in less practice under stereotype threat conditions (Stone, 2002) to provide an alternative explanation for poorer performance. Others may react to the situation with denial, and thus prevent the threat from affecting their performance (von Hippel, et al., 2005). Coping sense of humor can also guard against the negative effects of stereotype threat (Ford, Ferguson, Brooks, & Hagadone, 2004).

Studies conducted on the effects of stereotypes threat on women's math performance have identified additional parameters for the phenomenon to occur: GRE and SAT items are often used to measure performance because the male advantage in math performance is typically only found in problem solving tasks and does not appear until after the high school years (Hyde, Fennema, & Lamon, 1990) and stereotype threat decreases performance only if the task is sufficiently difficult to challenge the individual (O'Brien & Crandall, 2003; Spencer, Steele, & Quinn, 1999). For women completing math tests, the presence of a female role model who demonstrates strong mathematical ability can improve women's performance on a difficult mathematical test (Marx & Roman, 2002). Similarly, when female participants read about successful female role models, they did better on quantitative GRE sample items (McIntyre, Paulson, & Lord, 2003). In addition, when the experimenter told the experimental group of female participants that women made better participants in psychology experiments, they did better than females in the control group. Inzlicht and Ben-Zeev (2000) found women performed better when they were tested in same-sex groups of three than when they were tested with two men (experiment 1) and that when women were tested in same-sex groups of three, their performance did not differ from that of males (experiment 2). Aronson, Lustina, and Good (1999) suggest the stereotype threat effect is greatest for people who value the domain being tested. Subsequently, some researchers have limited their samples to students who met an SAT Math cutoff (e.g. Inzlicht, Aronson, Good, & McKay, 2006; Spencer et al., 1999), indicated they valued math ability on a questionnaire (e.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Lack of Stereotype Threat at a Liberal Arts College
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.