Article

Stereotype threat and the social and scientific contexts of the race achievement gap.

Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8205, USA.
American Psychologist (Impact Factor: 6.87). 05/2005; 60(3):270-1; discussion 271-2. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.60.3.270
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: The authors comment on the comments (see records 2005-03019-016; 2005-03019-017; 2005-03019-018) made on their original article entitled On Interpreting Stereotype Threat as Accounting for African American-White Differences on Cognitive Tests (see record 2004-10043-001). The authors welcome the thoughtful insights of Wicherts, Helms, and Cohen and Sherman, and they hope that these comments stimulate further critical analysis of methodological issues associated with stereotype threat research. The authors do not dispute that stereotype threat is a real phenomenon or that it remains a potentially important contributor to the racial achievement gap. They encourage researchers to continue their efforts to determine what role stereotype threat plays in contributing to that gap, especially in real-world testing situations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    American Psychologist 03/2005; 60(3):271-272. · 6.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Communication between African American patients and white health care providers has been shown to be of poorer quality when compared with race-concordant patient-provider communication. Fear on the part of patients that providers stereotype them negatively might be one cause of this poorer communication. This stereotype threat may be lessened by a values-affirmation intervention. METHODS In a blinded experiment, we randomized 99 African American patients with hypertension to perform a values-affirmation exercise or a control exercise before a visit with their primary care provider. We compared patient-provider communication for the 2 groups using audio recordings of the visit analyzed with the Roter Interaction Analysis System. We also evaluated visit satisfaction, trust, stress, and mood after the visit by means of a questionnaire. RESULTS Patients in the intervention group requested and provided more information about their medical condition (mean [SE] number of utterances, 66.3 [6.8] in the values-affirmation group vs 48.1 [5.9] in the control group [P = .03]). Patient-provider communication in the intervention group was characterized as being more interested, friendly, responsive, interactive, and respectful (P = .02) and less depressed and distressed (P = .03). Patient questionnaires did not detect differences in visit satisfaction, trust, stress, or mood. Mean visit duration did not differ significantly between the groups (19.2 minutes in the control group vs 20.5 minutes in the intervention group [P = .29]). CONCLUSIONS A values-affirmation exercise improves aspects of patient-provider communication in race-discordant primary care visits. The clinical impact of the intervention must be defined before widespread implementation can be recommended. TRIAL REGISTRATION clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01037920.
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    ABSTRACT: We argue that in important circumstances meritocracy can be realized only through a specific form of affirmative action we call affirmative meritocracy. These circumstances arise because common measures of academic performance systematically underestimate the intellectual ability and potential of members of negatively stereotyped groups (e.g., non-Asian ethnic minorities, women in quantitative fields). This bias results not from the content of performance measures but from common contexts in which performance measures are assessed—from psychological threats like stereotype threat that are pervasive in academic settings, and which undermine the performance of people from negatively stereotyped groups. To overcome this bias, school and work settings should be changed to reduce stereotype threat. In such environments, admitting or hiring more members of devalued groups would promote meritocracy, diversity, and organizational performance. Evidence for this bias, its causes, magnitude, remedies, and implications for social policy and for law are discussed.
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