Types of Threats
From Stereotype Threat to Stereotype Threats
The psychological experience of stereotype threat—a concern about being seen through the lens of a negative stereotype—can undermine motivation and performance in stereotype-relevant fields (Steele, Spencer, & Aronson, 2002). However, a key question remains: What exactly is stereotype threat a threat to, or a fear of? A close look at this important literature reveals that “stereotype threat” is often employed to describe and explain distinct processes and phenomena. The present chapter reviews a new approach to stereotype threat: the Multi-Threat Framework (Shapiro & Neuberg, 2007). In contrast to previous research, the Multi-Threat Framework articulates six qualitatively distinct stereotype threats that emerge from the intersection of two dimensions—the target of the stereotype threat (who will one’s stereotype-relevant actions reflect upon: the self or one’s group) and the source of the stereotype threat (who will judge these stereotype-relevant actions: the self, outgroup others, or ingroup others). Each of these stereotype threats have different eliciting conditions and moderators, are mediated by somewhat different processes, are experienced to different degrees by different negatively stereotyped groups, are coped with and compensated for in different ways, and require different interventions to overcome. The chapter focuses on the diversity of situational and individual difference factors that moderate an individual’s susceptibility to the different types of stereotype threats, as these factors shed light on when each of the stereotypes threats will emerge and how to best remediate the negative consequences of these stereotype threats.
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