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stereotype threat consequences vulnerable situations mechanisms reduce criticisms unresolved issues
Beaton, Tougas, Rinfret, Huard, & Delisle, 2007

Two experiments investigated the roles of stereotype activation and anxiety in accounting for the performance of women in mathematics under stereotype threat. In Experiment 1, female undergraduates who identified strongly with the domain of math answered a set of math problems by themselves (control), in the presence of five other male students (solo condition), or in a mixed-gender group (non-solo condition).  After being told they were to complete a series of math problems but before doing so, students completed word fragments designed to assess gender stereotype activation. Students then completed the math test. Average test performance was best in the non-solo condition and worst in the solo condition. Gender stereotypes appeared to be most accessible in the solo condition and least accessible in the control condition, but these differences were not significantly different. Moreover, stereotype accessibility was unrelated to performance. In Experiment 2, female undergraduates took the math test under solo or non-solo conditions but, prior to doing so, their performance expectations were measured. After completing the test, students were told that would complete another task with the group members and, at that time, measures of stereotype anxiety and interest in gender-related tasks were administered.  Performance anxiety was higher in the solo compared with the non-solo condition but, surprisingly, there emerged no differences in math performance or performance expectations. However, across the conditions, anxiety regarding math performance was negatively correlated with performance, and performance was negatively related to expressed interest in female-related activities. These results suggest that anxiety plays a more direct role than stereotype activation in accounting for performance deficits under stereotype threat and that domain performance relates to the strength of group identification.

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