Stereotype Threat

Stereotype threat is the experience of anxiety in a situation in which a person has the potential to confirm a negative stereotype about his or her social group. Stereotype threat has been shown to negatively affect the performance of negatively stereotyped group members. If negative stereotypes are made explicit, then group ­members are affected about fulfilling and adhering to that stereotype, which can hinder their performance level. Alternatively, stereotype threat can also have an effect if a person is trying to meet the unrealistic expectations set by a prevailing stereotype. A commonly used example in the literature is that stereotype threat can lower the academic performance of African Americans in the United States as a consequence of the stereotypes that surround members of this group—one ...

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