Stereotype lift

This paper reported findings from a meta-analysis on stereotype threat with a focus on the performance of groups who might be advantaged by an invoked stereotype (e.g., men in mathematics, African-Americans in athletics). The boosting of performance from an awareness that an outgroup is negatively stereotyped is called stereotype lift. The meta-analysis showed that stereotype lift produces improved performance in any context where the ability or worth of an outgroup is impugned, regardless of the means by which this is done. Only explicit refutations of stereotypes eliminated stereotype lift. Stereotype lift appears to result from making comparisons with a denigrated outgroup and lift is strongest for individuals who endorse outgroup stereotypes or the legitimacy of group-based hierarchies. Research on stereotype lift complements research on stereotype threat by providing additional evidence that group differences in task performance can arise when stereotypes are invoked alongside valued social identities.

Walton, G. M., & Cohen, G. L. (2003). Stereotype lift. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 456467.