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Unformatted text preview: 1 Influence of Stereotype Threat Running Heading: STEREOTYPE THREAT ON VERBAL FLUENCY The Influence of Stereotype Threat on Verbal Fluency Tasks in Undergraduate Men Zack Babin, Max L. Goldman, Rachel L. Kanter Emory University 2 Abstract The present research examined the influence of stereotype threat on verbal fluency at a small Southern University. Sixty undergraduate students were randomly assigned to either an experimental or control group. The former group was presented with the stereotype that men perform worse on verbal fluency tasks than women, while the latter group remained under neutral conditions. Each participant completed two word-generated tasks that measured verbal fluency. The authors hypothesized that men under the stereotype threat condition would perform worse on the verbal fluency tests, as compared to men under neutral conditions. Statistical analysis showed a significant decrease in performance of men in the experimental group compared to those in the control group. These results provide evidence for the potential impact of stereotype threat on cognitive abilities that effect test performance in undergraduate men. 3 Influence of Stereotype Threat The Influence of Stereotype Threat on Verbal Fluency Tasks in Undergraduate Men A stereotype is a socially and culturally shared set of beliefs about traits or behaviors that evaluate or characterize members of social group. Individuals categorize certain groups based on subjective beliefs, expectances, and often highly visible traits. These categorizations are then applied to all members of that social group, and as a result attributed to any individual within that group (Greenwald & Banaji, 1995). Previous research has shown that associations and attitudes towards individuals of a minority may manifest as both implicit and explicit cultural stereotypes and attributions ( Dovidio, Kawakami, & Gaertner, 2002). The current study expands on previous research by examining the influence of a stereotype threat on behavior and performance. Steele and Aronson (1995) define stereotype threat as the threat of being judged or evaluated based on a negative stereotype. This phenomenon only exists in situations where the negative situation is applicable, exposing the members of the in-group to risk of potentially confirming the negative stereotype. The connotation of the stereotype determines the situation and group to which the stereotype is relevant, and thus the domain to which it is attributed. As a result, the threat is perceived based on the individuals cultural, ethnic, and affective subjectivity in relation to the negative stereotype ( Spencer & Aronson, 2002). Previous research among the African American population found that those individuals under stereotype threat showed greater cognitive activation of stereotypes towards their shared group, greater cognitive activation of concerns about their abilities, and an increased tendency to avoid stereotypically preferences ( Steele & Aronson, 1995). These findings 4...
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2012 for the course PSYC 200 taught by Professor Nancybliwise during the Fall '10 term at Emory.

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FinalReport - 1 Influence of Stereotype Threat Running...

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