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stereotype threat consequences vulnerable situations mechanisms reduce criticisms unresolved issues
Rosenthal & Crisp, 2006

Three studies examined whether blurring intergroup boundaries might attenuate stereotype threat. In Experiment 1, women undergraduates
were asked either "to think of five things that men and women can have in common (i.e., characteristics that men and women share)" (category overlap) or did not complete this task (control) before completing the main dependent measure. The dependent variable involved individuals indicating their interest in pursuing eight different careers, four of which pilot tests showed were strongly (mechanical engineer, military officer) or weakly (dentist, accountant) stereotypical for men and four of which were strongly (registered nurse, primary school teacher) or weakly (physical therapist, social worker) stereotypical for women. Results showed that females in the control condition preferred stereotypically female careers compared with male careers. This difference was still significant, but also significantly weaker, in the overlap condition. In Experiment 2, women undergraduates were randomly assigned to complete the category overlap task from Experiment 1, a category difference task in which they were to "think of five things that can distinguish men from women," or completed no task prior to completing a series of math story problems. Math performance was better in the category overlap than in the control or category difference conditions, and performance did not differ significantly in the latter two conditions. In Experiment 3, women undergraduates were assigned to one of four conditions. One condition replicated the control conditions of Experiments 1 and 2, a second condition involved informing students that their results would be compared with men, a third condition involved the category overlap task followed by the threat manipulation, and the fourth condition in which the category overlap task and threat manipulation were reversed. Math performance did not differ in the control versus the condition in which results were to be compared with men, suggesting that the control condition had implicated stereotype threat in the previous studies. Performance was no better in the condition in which the threat manipulation preceded the category overlap task. However, performance was significantly better in the condition in which the category overlap task preceded the threat manipulation. Thus, it appears that identifying commonalities between groups might cause stereotype threat not to form in conditions where it otherwise might. 

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