Tag Archives: Stereotype Threat

Can Stereotypes About Your Age-Related Abilities Impact Your Cognitive Performance? The Influence of Stereotype Threat on First Year College Students and the Elderly

Ian Gackowski, Christine Merola, Julie E. Yonker, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v10/gackowski.html

Abstract Stereotype threat is activated in contexts where individuals who are members of negatively stereotyped groups are conscious of the content of those stereotypes, and consequently their performance may be negatively affected (e.g., Croizet & Claire, 1998; Spencer, Steele, & Quinn, 1999; Chasteen & Bhattacharyya, 2005). However, encouragement has been shown to combat the effects of stereotype threat (Hess, Auman, Colcombe, & Rahhal, 2003; Good, 2003). This study investigated whether an implicit age related negative perception (stereotype threat) or implicit encouragement would impact cognitive task performance of both first year college students and older adults. First year college students did not demonstrate cognitive performance effects for either stereotype threat or encouragement, however, older adults responded with better performance on a mental rotation task with encouragement.

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