How Stereotypes Affect Us
In this video Claude Steele tells about his research on stereotype threat and the way it affects us.
Each of us has social identities such as gender, age, race, sexuality etc. Stereotype threat is an experience of being in situation or doing something for which a negative stereotype about one of your identities is relevant. African American can be seen as a violent person in a neighborhood with predominantly white people or white student can be perceived as a racist in class that is predominantly nonwhite, that are some of examples of stereotype threat. Dealing with things, because of particular identity in particular place that what makes the identity real. We often have fear to be judged in terms of negative ...view middle of the document...
Black got lower results when were told that this is a test to measure intelligence. But they got good results when they were told that it is just a puzzle. When white and black participants were told that their “natural athletic ability” will be measured, white showed lower results, but when it was called “sports strategic intelligence” whites showed better results than blacks.
Another experiment was in a library. White participants were told that they will have a conversation about love and relationships or about racial profiles with 2 black or 2 white persons. They were asked to arrange chairs before conversation. Before conversation with 2 blacks chairs were arranged in the farthest way.
Having a support, trust and a sense that you can successes in particular task is helps to perform much better. White and black students were asked to write an essay. Two days later they received a regular feedback or a feedback also saying how good student’s personality is. Both of these types of feedback didn’t motivate students, but when the feedback said “I read it, it’s a good work, but you can do even better...” 75% of students took their essays home to improve.
Our environment and society is a reason for stereotyping. Unfortunately, racism is one of examples of negative stereotype threats. Parents should build trust, support and teach their kids how to deal with different situations that can be related to their social identity. We shouldn’t judge people without knowing them. More we know about person less likely we see this person in terms of stereotype.