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stereotype threat consequences vulnerable situations mechanisms reduce criticisms unresolved issues
Osborne, 2007

This experiment followed on the author's previous research (Osborne, 2006) assessing whether stereotype threat can produce physiological arousal and cognitive disruptions that might differentially affect men's and women's performance in math. As in that previous study, male and female undergraduates were told that they would complete a difficult math test after being told "girls score lower in math tests than boys" (stereotype threat for women) or, for half the participants, additionally that "there are many cases where girls score as well or better than boys...these tests have never shown gender differences" (control). While students completed the math test, skin conductance, skin surface temperature, and diastolic blood pressure were recorded. Differing from the previous study, stereotype threat effects on performance emerged in this study. Results showed that women performed worse than men under stereotype threat, but there was no difference in performance in the control condition. Only women in the stereotype threat condition exhibited physiological responses consistent with anxiety or autonomic arousal. Specifically, women under stereotype threat showed elevated skin conductance, decreased skin temperature, and increased diastolic blood pressure.

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