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Token Effects

Definition

A token is the only person of his or her category, or one of very few persons, in an otherwise homogeneous group. A sole female in a group of males is an example of a token individual, as is the only Latino in a group of Caucasians. Being numerically distinctive produces effects on one's thoughts and capabilities. When an individual is a token (or solo) in a group, he or she generally becomes preoccupied with evaluative or self-presentational concerns, such as “What do they think of me? How am I coming across?” Frequently, the attention diverted to these concerns interferes with the token's ability to concentrate on the central group activity, yielding diminished performance. This phenomenon is called the token deficit effect. There are instances, ...

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