Stereotype threat in African-American high school students: An initial investigation
This study examined stereotype threat effects among 9th-grade African-American and White students who participated in a group testing session on "mathematical reasoning." Students completed the APR Spatial Ability Test that had been described as either predictive of performance on standardized tests in mathematics (stereotype threat) or where students had been reassured that the test was unbiased and culturally fair (no stereotype threat). Results showed performance on the APR (controlling for previous test performance) did not differ significantly between African-American and White students when the test was described as unbiased. However, African-American students performed dramatically more poorly than whites when it was described as being predictive of future performance on standardized tests. These results demonstrate stereotype threat effects in a realistic testing environment with a supposed high-stakes test involving a representative sample of 9th-grade students.