Clearing the air: The effect of experimenter race on target's test performance and subjective experience

This study investigated the consequences of stereotype threat on test performance when the test administrator was of same or a different race. Black and White undergraduates highly identified with their verbal ability completed a challenging verbal test under conditions that typically produce stereotype threat. Specifically, the test was described as diagnostic, and students were asked to indicate their race on the test booklet before beginning the test. The test administrator was either Black or White, and the administrator's competence in the verbal domain was established through several means. Black students performed worse when the test administrator was White than when Black, and their performance was as good as White students when the administrator was Black. Whites were unaffected by the administrator's race. In addition, Blacks reported more stereotype threat in the White compared with the Black test administrator condition, and reported threat partially mediated the relation between administrator race and test performance. These results suggest that providing ingroup role models can reduce stereotype threat and attenuate performance decrements that typically occur in such conditions.

Marx, D. M., & Goff, P. A. (2005). Clearing the air: The effect of experimenter race on target's test performance and subjective experience. British Journal of Social Psychology, 44, 645-657.

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