The Threat of a Stereotype

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Stereotype threat is present in our everyday lives and it prevents people from doing things to their fullest abilities. It is the fear of confirming a negative stereotype about you resulting in weaker performance. An example where stereotype threat exists is in the case where African Americans do poorly on tests compared to Caucasian individuals. This occurs because the stereotype is that African Americans are intellectually inferior to Caucasian people. In a setting where the negative stereotype is brought to mind, African Americans will perform poorly on tests when in fact they are able to perform equally as well if not better than Caucasian individuals. (Article 1) Stereotype threat limits individuals in their performance in academics, sports or even something like driving. By reducing stereotype threat, performance in many areas can improve and people can perform tasks to their fullest potentials. Stereotype threat leads to underachievement in academic and work related situations. People may feel they cannot rise above the stereotype and become limited in their successes. (article 1 I think) The purpose of this paper is to inform on stereotype threat and how to reduce it, as well as to introduce my own investigation aimed at reducing stereotype threat.

Numerous research and investigations were conducted on the topic of stereotype threat. In the articles connected to this paper, experiments were performed to see how stereotype threat affected test results. During tests some participants were exposed to variables that activated a negative stereotype while others were not. Those exposed to the negative stereotype had lower results. Therefore stereotype threat resulted in weaker performance. It is proven the threat exists but so...

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Research has discovered ways to reduce stereotype threat and I myself have thought of a study that could be done to reduce stereotype threat. Through several articles I was introduced to stereotype threat and how it is a problem in our society. When we are part of a negative stereotype it can limit us in performing a task to our fullest potential. Stereotype threat can cause higher anxiety levels, lower self-expectation, lack of motivation and can take our attention away from important things. Because of stereotype threat we face underachievement and inaccurate results in task performance. If my study were to be conducted I believe that it would help recognize another threat that exists and find out ways to reduce it. As attention to stereotype threat grows, research and studies should continue and focus on reducing stereotype threat in our society.
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