Beate Seibt
Risky and Careful Processing under Stereotype Threat: How Performance is Influenced by Activated Self-Stereotypes

2005, 156 pages, 
ISBN 3-89967-180-5,
Price: 20,- Euro

Men canít listen and women canít drive are just two of the many negative stereotypes about groups frequently encountered in our societies. And of course we would like to dismiss them as irrelevant and unfair and stop thinking about them. However, recent research suggests that in test situations, negative stereotypes sometimes act as self-fulfilling prophecies. The prevailing explanation is that the stereotype poses a threat to the individual and thereby induces anxiety. Drawing on Regulatory Focus Theory, the present work offers an alternative account: It is argued that positive stereotypes induce a state of eagerness (promotion focus) and that negative stereotypes induce a state of vigilance (prevention focus).

Accordingly, the present findings indicate that when people are told their group canít perform a task well, they work more slowly but more cautiously, to try to make fewer mistakes. Conversely, when told their group performs well, people are fast but not very thorough. The research further shows that even a stereotype generally dismissed as untrue such as that of the Ądumb blondď can affect a womanís confidence in her own ability. It is concluded that performance on tasks calling for vigilant strategies can even be improved by activated negative stereotypes, or, generally speaking, that the effect of stereotypes on performance depends on the task demands. The present findings are compared to those examining anxiety as a potential mediator of stereotype threat effects.

Pabst Science Publishers
Eichengrund 28
D-49525 Lengerich

  • Auch bei Bestellungen per Email 
    bitte immer die Lieferanschrift  angeben. Vielen Dank.