What are the mechanisms behind  Stereotype Threat?

Stereotype threat effects have been shown in many different situations involving a variety of stereotypes. Although stereotype threat effects appear to be robust, the specific mechanisms by which stereotype threat harms performance is still not entirely clear. This ambiguity likely reflects that fact that stereotype threat probably produces several different consequences, each of which can contribute to decreased performance (Steele, Spencer, & Aronson, 2002). Steele and Aronson (1995), for example, speculated that distraction, narrowed attention, anxiety, self-consciousness, withdrawal of effort, or even overeffort might all play a role. Research has provided support for the role of some of these factors, at least in some contexts.

Anxiety
 

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Negative Cognitions and Dejection Emotions

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Lowered Performance Expectations

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Physiological Arousal

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Reduced Effort

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Reduced Self-Control

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Reduced Working Memory Capacity

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Reduced Creativity, Flexibility & Speed

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Excess Effort

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