Words of Wisdom:

"I can do everything through God which strengtheneth me" - Hawaii80

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  • Date Submitted: 03/28/2011 08:13 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 26.9 
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Introduction

Minority groups such as women, African Americans, and those from low socio-economic status have been shown to be vulnerable to the risk of confirming, as self-characteristics, a negative stereotype about one’s group, which is known as stereotype threat (Steele & Aronson, 1995). Put differently, those who are members of stigmatized groups are aware of negative stereotypes about their group and that awareness as well as fear of showing that they themselves validate these stereotypes, can cause performance deficits. Presently, the effect of confirming negative self-relevant stereotypes within stigmatized groups has become a widely discussed issue within academic settings.
      Interventions have been introduced to reduce the risk of individuals confirming these stereotypes. These interventions focus on mentoring students on stereotype threat, intelligence malleability awareness, teaching mindfulness about discrimination, blurring intergroup differences, and individuation.   Literature suggests a promising approach to reducing this problem in stigmatized targets is provided by intervention through individuation, which uses the disclosure of personal information to make a person more identifiable (Maslach et al., 1985), thus placing focus on their positive traits and reducing the effects of the stereotype threat.

Stereotype threat
      A landmark study on stereotype threat done by Steele and Aronson (1995) examined the role of activating a negative stereotype plays on achievement.   The primary study tested 117 Black and White Stamford undergraduates. Using a 2x3 factorial design, the experimenters wanted to test if there was performance differences between the Black and White students and the type of test used: diagnostic, non-diagnostic or non-diagnostic with a challenge.   Findings suggested that Black participants performed worse when the test was presented as a means to measure ability but their performance matched those of the White...

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