A Comparison of Stereotype Threat and Stereotype Priming Effects1,2
It has been argued that merely priming negative stereotypic traits is sufficient to cause stereotype threat. This chapter discusses theory and research that challenges this assumption by highlighting how one’s stereotyped social identity and the concerns about confirming a negative self and/or group-relevant stereotype can help distinguish between stereotype threat and priming effects. Specifically, we discuss how stereotype threat is not the product of some automatic perception–behavior link, but is in fact a “hot” motivational phenomenon, which is based on the concern that targets of negative stereotypes have about confirming the group-relevant stereotype—what we refer to as the “knowing-and-being” account of stereotype threat. In the first part of this chapter, we outline the theoretical rationale for our knowing-and-being account and then detail research that supports this account. Following this, we discuss how typical priming procedures may be used to create a stereotype threat–like experience, provided that the priming procedure activates one’s stereotyped identity and not simply the stereotypes associated with that identity. In closing, we provide a brief summary of the policy implications for this research.
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