Stereotype boost and stereotype threat effects: The moderating role of ethnic identification
This study investigates ethnic identification and math identification with Asian American and Latino undergraduate students (N = 106; 66 Asian American, 40 Latino). In the first of two testing sessions, participants completed measures of ethnic and math identification. In the second session, participants were told they would be taking a math test and received instructions either indicating that the test was diagnostic of intellectual ability and that performance historically differed by ethnic heritage (stereotype threat for Latinos; stereotype lift for Asians) or was being used to assess differences in performance based on computer versus paper testing (control). For Asian participants, performance on the task was better in the diagnostic/ethnicity condition compared with the control condition. For Latino participants, this pattern was reversed. Also, while math identification was positively correlated with performance in both groups, the effects of ethnic identification differed. Stronger ethnic identification produced increases in performance for Asians, but poorer performance for Latinos, in the diagnostic/ethnicity condition. These results show both that stereotype threat can interact with the strength of social identities to affect performance.