Stereotype Threat (Classic)

Nov 25, 08 Stereotype Threat (Classic)

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Article Critique of:Steele, Claude M. & Aronson, Joshua (1995). Stereotype treat and the intelligence testperformance of African Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 5,797-811.By Alla Andelman This study comprised of four experiments to discover if stereotype threat had a negative impact on the performance of African Americans on a verbal intelligence test. The authors theorized that a stereotype threat would arise from the anticipation of having to take a difficult test, and would furthermore hinder performance on that test. Test 1 measured 114 Black and White (male and female) participants, randomly assigning them to the diagnostic condition (where participants thought ability was being tested), the non-diagnostic condition (where testing for ability was denied), and the non-diagnostic condition-plus-challenge (where participants were asked to take their challenge seriously. Results showed that Blacks in the diagnostic condition did slightly worse, and Whites in the non-diagnostic condition-plus challenge did slightly better then all the others, which were very similar, though none of these differences were statistically significant. The authors concluded that while they felt their results supported their hypothesis, it needed to be tested for reliability. Test 2 was meant to do that. It tested 20 Black and White female participants in only the diagnostic and non-diagnostic conditions. Results showed Black participants in the diagnostic condition performed worse than all other groups. The authors concluded that this established the reliability of their hypothesis posed in Test 1. In Test 3, 35 Black (9 male), and 33 White (20 male) were assigned to either a diagnostic, non-diagnostic, or control condition (where there was no mention of participants being tested) were given measures to test for stereotype activation, self-doubt activation, stereotype avoidance, indication of race, and self-handicapping were tested. Results showed significantly higher scores of stereotype activation for all conditions for Blacks, and higher self-doubt activation for Blacks in the diagnostic condition. The authors concluded that stereotype threat is ignited in African Americans by the anticipation of taking a test where ability will be tested, and would therefore not...

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Using a Joystick to Increase Identification with Math

Nov 18, 08 Using a Joystick to Increase Identification with Math

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Article critique ofKerry Kawakami, Jennifer R. Steele, Claudia Cifa, Curtis E. Phills, and John F. Dovidio (2007). Approaching math increases Math=me and Math= pleasant. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 818-825by Alla Andelman This study, done in two parts, tested women’s identification with math based on approach behavior training, with two other variables in two separate experiments. In the first experiment, women (44 participants total) with a low identification with math were tested against women with a high identification with math to test their implicit identification attitude and implicit positive regard attitude for math (as tested by the identification IAT and attitude IAT) after going through approach behavior training for approach verses avoidance. The results showed that women with a low initial identification had a higher implicit identification and positive regard for math when in the approach verses avoid training group. However, the women with a high initial identification showed almost equally high implicit positive regard from both training groups, and a much higher implicit identification to math for the avoid training group. In the second experiment, 56 women with a low initial identification to math were tested with an approach behavior training verses neutral behavior training, for its affect on implicit identification to math and for behavior during a math test. The results showed that women who had approach training had a higher identification response rate than women who went through neutral training. Also, women who went through approach training had a slightly higher rate of attempting more math questions on a quiz, though not doing better on this quiz. The authors concluded that if women who originally have a low identification with math are given an intervention for approach behavior, they will have an improved identification and regard for math. Also, they will be more likely to attempt to do math, hopefully improving their proficiency in math. They also theorized that women with an already high identification with math would be threatened with stereotype bias, namely that men are more proficient in...

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False Memories and Behavior

Nov 12, 08 False Memories and Behavior

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A review of: Geraerts, E., Bernstein, D.M., Merckelbach, H., Linders, C., Raymaekers, L., & Loftus, E.F. (2008). Lasting false beliefs and their behavioral consequences. Psychological Science, 19, 749-753. by Micol Levi-Minzi In this article Geraerts, et al. (2008) sought to examine the relationship between false memories and long-lasting changes in behavior. The authors cite examples of false memories such as satanic ritual abuse, previous lives and space alien abduction all of which can greatly impact an individual’s behaviors. Geraerts et al. (2008) suggest that misleading information or even suggestive techniques used in therapy may be the source of these false beliefs. While some research shows that false memories may impact attitudes and beliefs, no research has been conducted on the influence of false beliefs on long-lasting behavioral changes. In this study, the authors question if this link exists. More specifically, Geraerts et al. (2008) hypothesize that by falsely suggesting to participants that they had experienced a negative event specific to a particular food item in their past, long term changes would occur in how participants behaved in regard to that food item. The independent variable in this investigation was the false belief that the researchers suggested to the participants. Consequently, the dependent variable was the level of change in behavior in response to the false belief. The study utilized 180 participants who were screened so as to exclude those with eating disorders. The participants were first-year undergraduate students from a university who were then randomly assigned to either a control group or a false belief group. The study spanned three different sessions with each participant. In the first sessions participants were asked to complete a food history inventory that asked whether or not specific events had occurred to them. Also administered was a food preference questionnaire and a questionnaire that asked subjects to rank their likelihood of consuming specific foods if they were at a party. During the second meeting participants were given false information. The false information was given under the guise that...

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