What are the consequences of Stereotype Threat?

Stereotype threat produces numerous consequences, most of which are negative in nature. Many studies have replicated and extended the finding first reported by Steele and Aronson (1995) that invoking group memberships associated with stereotypes can harm performance on tasks where poor performance might confirm stereotypes. Subsequent work has broadened to examine performance on many different tasks and a variety of consequences. Here we review the major consequences of stereotype threat that have been identified in research to date.

 
 
Internal Attributions for Failure

Individuals often attempt to identify what factors are responsible when they fail to achieve a desired outcome. In doing so, factors pertaining to the individual (i.e., internal factors) or factors related to the situation (i.e., external factors) can be invoked.

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KEY TERMS
 
Decreased Performance

Perhaps the most widely known consequence of stereotype threat is reduced achievement on tests in situations in which the stereotype is relevant.

 
 
Reactance

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Ironic Effects

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Self-Handicapping

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Task Discounting

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Distancing the self from the stereotyped group

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Disengagement and disidentification

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Altered professional identities and aspirations

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