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Stereotype threat is a possible facet of the existing gender and racial gaps in numerous performance-based situations such as workplace reviews, academic exams, and job interviews. It may occur when an individual’s performance is linked to undesirable stereotypes in particular situations. Stereotype threat represents anxiety experienced in situations when people have the prospective to confirm undesirable stereotypes regarding their social groups.
Defining Stereotype Threat
Popham and Hess (2018) define stereotype threat as a situational predicament where individuals feel at risk of compliance with stereotypes regarding their social groups. Researchers and scholars theorize it as a contributing aspect to the long-standing gender and racial gaps in academic performance. Stereotype threats usually occur when people are confronted by self-relevant and negative stereotypes in any given performance situation (Popham & Hess, 2018).
Dr. Claude Steele and his Contribution to the Field of Psychology
Dr. Claude Steele is a psychology professor at Stanford University and an American social psychologist (Steele, 2003). Steele is renowned for his work on stereotypes and their use in the educational performance of marginalized students (Popham & Hess, 2018). He recognized that African American students underperformed on homogenous academic tests due to the fear of confirming negative ethnic and racial stereotypes regarding their intellectual aptitudes (Popham & Hess, 2018).
The statement from the article Through the Back Door to Theory by Claude Steele means that the clear differences identified in SAT performances as a factor of ethnicity or race (Ford & Triplett, 2019). Averagely, White and Asian students obtain scores above the state average. Based on the statement, ethnicity or race remains a substantial and significant predictor for all students’ groups of color apart from Pacific Islanders (Ford & Triplett, 2019).
Stereotype threat characterizes anxiety experienced in circumstances when people have the potential to approve objectionable stereotypes regarding their social groups. Stereotype threats usually transpire when people are challenged by self-relevant and negative stereotypes in any given performance situation.