An Examination of Implicitly Activated, Explicitly Activated, and Nullified Stereotypes on Mathematical Performance: It's Not Just a Woman's Issue

An Examination of Implicitly Activated, Explicitly Activated, and Nullified Stereotypes on... This study was designed to examine the different ways that stereotypes might become activated in testing situations and the effects this activation has on task performance. In Experiment 1, women undergraduates exposed to an explicitly activated stereotype (i.e., told men outperform women in mathematics) performed worse than women exposed to a nullified stereotype (i.e., told men and women perform at the same level in mathematics). The stereotype threat also was activated implicitly under “normal” conditions (i.e., just given the test with nothing else stated) such that performance in this condition was at the same (low) level as the explicitly activated threat. In Experiment 2, the results were replicated with White male undergraduates using the stereotype that “Asians are better than Whites” in mathematics. In addition, in a small field survey we found that this belief about ethnicity did occur spontaneously for White men in college calculus courses. Taken together, the results of these studies suggest that even under normal circumstances, math test situations may lead to nonoptimal performance for both stigmatized (women) and traditionally nonstigmatized (White men) group members. Implications for threat nullification techniques are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

An Examination of Implicitly Activated, Explicitly Activated, and Nullified Stereotypes on Mathematical Performance: It's Not Just a Woman's Issue

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1021051223441
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study was designed to examine the different ways that stereotypes might become activated in testing situations and the effects this activation has on task performance. In Experiment 1, women undergraduates exposed to an explicitly activated stereotype (i.e., told men outperform women in mathematics) performed worse than women exposed to a nullified stereotype (i.e., told men and women perform at the same level in mathematics). The stereotype threat also was activated implicitly under “normal” conditions (i.e., just given the test with nothing else stated) such that performance in this condition was at the same (low) level as the explicitly activated threat. In Experiment 2, the results were replicated with White male undergraduates using the stereotype that “Asians are better than Whites” in mathematics. In addition, in a small field survey we found that this belief about ethnicity did occur spontaneously for White men in college calculus courses. Taken together, the results of these studies suggest that even under normal circumstances, math test situations may lead to nonoptimal performance for both stigmatized (women) and traditionally nonstigmatized (White men) group members. Implications for threat nullification techniques are discussed.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 13, 2004

References

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