Stereotype threat effects on the Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices scores of African Americans

This study assessed the impact of stereotype threat on performance on Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM) task, a nonverbal test of cognitive ability. White and Black students at both a predominately White and historically Black college completed a biographical form and then the APM after being told either that it was a "test diagnostic of intellectual ability" (stereotype threat for Blacks) or a "test of pattern completion skill" and that "ability would not be measured using the test" (control). The analysis of APM performance showed that Whites outperformed Blacks overall, but a marginally significant interaction showed that the difference in performance was somewhat greater in the stereotype threat compared with the control condition. Although these results did not reach standard levels of statistical significance, they showed the same pattern as previous studies on stereotype threat, but with a relative "culture reduced" test. The lack of a significant interaction may reflect the fact that the biographical form completed before the APM inquired about participants' age, sex, race, and socioeconomic status. Any stereotype threat that arose because race and SES information was solicited might have served to produce at least some level of stereotype threat in both experimental conditions.

McKay, P. F., Doverspike, D., Bowen-Hilton, D., & Martin, Q. D. (2002). Stereotype threat effects on the Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices scores of African Americans. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32,767787.

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