"First described by psychologist Claude Steele and his colleagues, stereotype threat  has been shown to reduce the performance of individuals who belong to negatively stereotyped groups."  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotype_threat)

What have you heard/experienced about "stereotype threat"?  What are the implications of stereotype threat for undergraduate biology education reform?

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Interesting thought. If this exists, it probably will depend on the expectations in the culture of each institution.

With respect to Tony Bell's mention that not all individuals in a stereotyped class demonstrate the effect, this is anecdotal, but it has been my sense that college students of color who went at least through high school in a country where they were not in a minority (e.g., Africa, Caribbean) who now live in the US are much less subject to academic stereotype threat than individuals who experienced growing up in our society. So it seems it might be related both to cultural beliefs and developmental experiences, interacting during the formation of an adult identity. I think Kay Deaux may have done some research on this, but I'm not sure it is published. I should try to find  this. As mentioned, this is a huge research literature by now and hard to keep up with as a result. 

I believe an argument/hypothesis can be made, logically, from what I consider to be an underlying assumption of stereotype threat (e.g. stigma and social judgement/praise are relevant to social organisms), that "faculty who elect to make undergraduate education a priority" may be susceptible to stereotype threat.

In the earliest writings/studies, Steele clearly noted that individuals from any group may be susceptible to the negative effects of stereotype threat. This point appears to be a valid one.

In the fairly recent past, I have worked in such an environment (community then four year college as an assistant professor). While I have not explored the literature, I suspect that among the other factors, electing to make undergraduate education a priority" might show a relationship with stereotype threat effect among some members of that community when compared to educators electing to focus on graduate education.

Your questions has led to my  concern about what kinds of moderators and or mediators would be relevant to explaining ST effects in that context.



Tony - Thank you for sharing these references with the PULSE community! Judy



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