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Stereotype Threat

Stereotype threat is said to occur when an individual's awareness of negative stereotypes about his or her group becomes an apprehension about confirming such stereotypes based on his or her appearance, behavior, mannerisms, and so on. According to the stereotype threat formulation, the activation of a negative stereotype—via experimental instructions or other cues in the environment—can elicit a disruptive state that can undermine performance and aspirations in stereotype-relevant domains. This entry provides an overview of the phenomenon, including the groups susceptible to stereotype threat, its psychological mediators and moderators, and interventions that have been shown empirically to help individuals resist its more pernicious effects.

Susceptibility to Stereotype Threat

In their seminal article published in 1995, Steele and Aronson reported findings that when Black students were confronted with ...

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