Müller, & Sieverding, 2008
experiment examines the influence of stereotype threat
on attributions for failure involving women's
performance on a computer-based task.
and female college students were asked to find a
document on the internet and to save it to a memory
stick. Before doing so, they were informed that
"women have previously performed worse than men have in
this task" (stereotype threat for women), that "women
have previously performed better than men have in this
task" (stereotype threat for men), or were given no
information about gender differences. Unbeknownst to the
students, the memory stick was faulty so that all
students failed to successfully complete the task.
Following task failure, the students were asked to
explain why they had failed at the task. Women who
were placed under stereotype threat were more likely
than men to attribute their failure to internal factors
rather than external factors. There were no significant
gender differences in the other two conditions. These
data show that stereotype threat can lead individuals to
blame themselves for failure.
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