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Stereotype and Social Identity Threat

Stereotype or social identity threat can be construed as an internal, cognitive state in which the individual is aware of negative stereotypes against his or her group and which can impact individual thoughts and/or behavior (Aronson & McGlone, 2009, p. 154). Considerable research demonstrates that stereotype threat can impact recipient behavior and can be destructive in relationships and in one's personal view of him- or herself. Despite the prevalence and potential detrimental effects of stereotype threat, there are ways to decrease stereotype threat, including, but not limited to, reframing ability, use of role models, and self-affirmation.

Analyze stereotype threat and the conditions necessary for this type of threat to occur. Consider ways you might remediate a stereotype threat.

Reference: Aronson, J., & McGlone, M. S. (2009). Stereotype and social identity threat. In T. D. Nelson (Ed.), Handbook of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination (pp. 153-178). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Define stereotype threat.

Explain four conditions necessary when stereotype threat might be likely to occur and why.

Provide a thorough example of each and use the current literature to support your response.

Describe three ways in which an individual may respond to a stereotype threat and explain how.

Explain two consequences of a stereotype threat and why.

Explain three ways to remediate stereotype threat.

Be specific. Use the current literature to support your response.

Support your RESPONSE with specific references to all resources used in YOUR preparation.

Solution Preview

On Stereotype and Stereotype threats

In a previous task, I have expressed what stereotypes are about as follows -

"Stereotyping is a thought or an attitude that can be adopted or practiced consciously/unconsciously about particular people or types of people or the way things are done. This thought or attitude is like a belief which means that it is not necessarily reflective of the true realities. Often, a stereotype is based on cultural or group realities. From the Greek words 'stereos' - meaning 'solid' and 'typos' - meaning impression, it refers to the manner by which we have come to 'perceive' and then made solid 'lenses of judgments' that we use every time we are confronted with images or people that remind us of those certain characteristics and impressions of that particular incident or series of experiences that have led us to construct a particular 'lens of judgment' - a stereotype. There are 2 kinds of stereotype behavior primarily - it could be blatant or subtle. A stereotype is cognitive in that the 'lens' which we use to perceive the likely kind of person we are observing would, based on our cognitive experience, likely fall into a particular kind. We do this cognitively not to particularly discriminate but to make sense of the world - it is a tool that we utilise to categorize, simplify and systematize information to help us react effectively then plan our actions and predict based on this. Stereotypes could be blatant or subtle. As a cultural experience, stereotypes could have intergroup origins, based on the collective experience of a group of people with a shared history and experience of particular 'types'. For example, high school 'culture' constructs stereotypes of nerds, jocks and cheerleaders."

Now, to further the discussion of stereotyping, I would like to discuss the notion of stereotype threat. Stereotype threat is an experience that is akin to an anxiety or a feeling of concern when an individual appears to likely confirm a negative stereotype about a group a person belongs to. Aronson and Steele first expressed this concept in 1995 and as an expression of critical social action, psychologists Catherine Good of Baroch College, the City University of New York and Steve Stroessner of Barnard College, Columbia University with the assistance of Lauren Webster has put together a compendium of psychological, scientific and critical scientific research website that explores the matter as it affects society and the manner by which we behave as individuals and groups. Their website - ReducingStereotypeThreats.org is a non-profit, public service advocacy site and provides the following key ideas (2012) -

"This term was first used by Steele and Aronson (1995) who showed in several experiments that Black college freshmen and sophomores performed more poorly on standardized tests than White students when their race was emphasized. When race was not emphasized, however, Black students performed better and equivalently with White students. The results showed that performance in academic contexts can be harmed by the awareness that one's behavior might be viewed through the lens of racial stereotypes."

"Since Steele and Aronson's (1995) paper, research in stereotype threat has broadened in several important respects. First, research has shown that the consequences of stereotype threat extend beyond underachievement on academic tasks. For example, it can lead to self-handicapping strategies, such as reduced practice time for a task (Stone, 2002), and to reduced sense of belonging to the stereotyped domain (Good, Dweck, & Rattan, 2008). In addition, consistent exposure to stereotype threat (e.g., faced by some ethnic minorities in academic environments and women in math) can reduce the degree that individuals value the domain in question (Aronson, et al. 2002; Osborne, 1995; Steele, 1997). In education, it can also lead students to choose not to pursue the domain of study and, consequently, limit the range of professions that they can pursue. Therefore, the long-term effects of stereotype threat might contribute to educational and social inequality (Good et al., 2008a; Schmader, Johns, & Barquissau, 2004). Furthermore, stereotype threat has been shown to affect stereotyped individuals' performance in a number of domains beyond academics, such as white men in sports (e.g., Stone, Lynch, Sjomerling, & Darley, 1999), women in negotiation (Kray, Galinsky, & Thompson, ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines stereotypes and social identify threats. The conditions necessary for this type of threats to occur are determined.

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