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Stereotype ThreatTheory, Process, and Application$
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Michael Inzlicht and Toni Schmader

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199732449

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732449.001.0001

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An Integration of Processes that Underlie Stereotype Threat

An Integration of Processes that Underlie Stereotype Threat

3 An Integration of Processes that Underlie Stereotype Threat
Stereotype Threat

Toni Schmader

Sian Beilock

Oxford University Press

The theory of stereotype threat has captivated those who have long struggled to understand why some groups of people seem to systematically underperform in certain domains. But although early research on the theory provided dramatic examples that even very subtle reminders of being negatively stereotyped could impair performance, it has been only recently that research has identified the processes by which these performance impairments occur. In this chapter, we provide a summary of how situations of stereotype threat set in motion both automatic processes that activate a sense of uncertainty and cue increased vigilance toward the situation, one’s performance, and oneself; as well as controlled processes aimed at interpreting and regulating the resulting negative thoughts and feelings that the negative stereotype can induce. By articulating the integration of these component cognitive and emotional processes, we are then able to identify how policy changes and interventions can combat stereotype threat both by facilitating changes to people’s stereotypes and by providing individuals with the tools they need to better cope with the threat.

Keywords:   stereotype threat, working memory, automatic and controlled processes, self-regulation

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