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Stereotype ThreatTheory, Process, and Application$
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Michael Inzlicht and Toni Schmader

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199732449

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732449.001.0001

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ConclusionExtending and Applying Stereotype Threat Research: A Brief Essay

ConclusionExtending and Applying Stereotype Threat Research: A Brief Essay

Chapter:
19 ConclusionExtending and Applying Stereotype Threat Research: A Brief Essay
Source:
Stereotype Threat
Author(s):

Claude M. Steele

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732449.003.0019

This essay provides a capstone to this edited volume on stereotype threat by addressing three issues related to the original theory. First, stereotype threat arises when we could reasonably theorize that other people could see us stereotypically. But factors other than relevant stereotypes can make us feel this way. Thus, stereotype threat can be considered a specific instance of a more general “intersubjective” threat. The breadth of findings demonstrating stereotype threat effects reveal that this broader threat can play a bigger role in human social behavior than we have appreciated, and more basic theory and research on the role of intersubjectivity in psychological functioning is needed. Second, although critics have sometimes questioned the generalizability of stereotype threat beyond laboratory demonstrations, these questions of generalizability are better framed as a need to specify what moderates the effect. Because the experience of stereotype threat is conditional on a host of person and situation factors, it might not be meaningful to debate the generalizability of a unitary effect. Finally, policy questions regarding ways to reduce threat should be guided by answers about moderating variables. Situations in which threat is likely to be felt most strongly should be targeted for intervention, and successful intervention can be developed based on evidence of what alleviates threat.

Keywords:   stereotype threat, intersubjective threat, generalizability, moderation, policy

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