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Microaggressive classroom language and diminished cognitive functioning

Microaggressive classroom language and diminished cognitive functioning The current literature has not provided insight into the effects of using racially derogatory words in the context of academic instruction or when reviewing historical texts. This study aims to examine the impact of such microaggressive language on cognitive performance among university students.Design/methodology/approachUsing experimental methodologies, the participants were recruited to the research lab and assigned to one of the three conditions, as they were exposed to a derogatory word, heard a replacement of the word or did not hear it at all. Given the results of prior studies, researchers hypothesized that participants holding marginalized racial/ethnic identities would experience greater levels of cognitive depletion, as measured by the Stroop (1935) color-naming task, when compared to their white counterparts, as it was expected that students from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds would be more affected by use of such language.FindingsThe primary hypothesis was supported, as students from underrepresented backgrounds who were exposed to the microaggressive language displayed diminished Stroop (1935) performance as compared to those not exposed and their white counterparts who heard the same language.Originality/valueThis study adds to the literature surrounding the immediate impact of microaggression of university students holding marginalized racial/ethnic identities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal for Multicultural Education Emerald Publishing

Microaggressive classroom language and diminished cognitive functioning

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2053-535X
DOI
10.1108/jme-05-2019-0039
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The current literature has not provided insight into the effects of using racially derogatory words in the context of academic instruction or when reviewing historical texts. This study aims to examine the impact of such microaggressive language on cognitive performance among university students.Design/methodology/approachUsing experimental methodologies, the participants were recruited to the research lab and assigned to one of the three conditions, as they were exposed to a derogatory word, heard a replacement of the word or did not hear it at all. Given the results of prior studies, researchers hypothesized that participants holding marginalized racial/ethnic identities would experience greater levels of cognitive depletion, as measured by the Stroop (1935) color-naming task, when compared to their white counterparts, as it was expected that students from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds would be more affected by use of such language.FindingsThe primary hypothesis was supported, as students from underrepresented backgrounds who were exposed to the microaggressive language displayed diminished Stroop (1935) performance as compared to those not exposed and their white counterparts who heard the same language.Originality/valueThis study adds to the literature surrounding the immediate impact of microaggression of university students holding marginalized racial/ethnic identities.

Journal

Journal for Multicultural EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 20, 2019

Keywords: Language; Underrepresented students; Cognitive depletion; Microaggression

References