Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African Americans

A highly cited paper related to Stereotype Threat.

Paper PDF : Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African Americans

Stereotype threat is being at risk of confirming, as self-characteristic, a negative stereotype about one’s group. Studies 1 and 2 varied the stereotype vulnerability of Black participants taking a difficult verbal test by varying whether or not their performance was ostensibly diagnostic of ability, and thus, whether or not they were at risk of fulfilling the racial stereotype about their intellectual ability.

Reflecting the pressure of this vulnerability, Blacks under-performed in relation to Whites in the ability-diagnostic condition but not in the non-diagnostic condition (with Scholastic Aptitude Tests controlled). Study 3 validated that ability-diagnosticity cognitively activated the racial stereotype in these participants and motivated them not to conform to it, or to be judged by it. Study 4 showed that mere salience of the stereotype could impair Blacks’ performance even when the test was not ability diagnostic.

The role of stereotype vulnerability in the standardized test performance of ability-stigmatized groups is discussed.

Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination

This is an older Correspondence Testing Experiment from from National Bureau of Economic Research 2003.   But not a bad introduction on Correspondence Testing.

Research Link: Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination Marianne Bertrand, Sendhil Mullainathan

We perform a field experiment to measure racial discrimination in the labor market. We respond with fictitious resumes to help-wanted ads in Boston and Chicago newspapers. To manipulate perception of race, each resume is assigned either a very African American sounding name or a very White sounding name.

The results show significant discrimination against African-American names: White names receive 50 percent more callbacks for interviews. We also find that race affects the benefits of a better resume. For White names, a higher quality resume elicits 30 percent more callbacks whereas for African Americans, it elicits a far smaller increase. Applicants living in better neighborhoods receive more callbacks but, interestingly, this effect does not differ by race. The amount of discrimination is uniform across occupations and industries.

Federal contractors and employers who list Equal Opportunity Employer’ in their ad discriminate as much as other employers. We find little evidence that our results are driven by employers inferring something other than race, such as social class, from the names. These results suggest that racial discrimination is still a prominent feature of the labor market.

Unconscious Bias in the Classroom: Evidence and Opportunities 2017

An interesting article by Google Research exploring Unconscious Bias in the Classroom.

Link to Article: Unconscious Bias in the Classroom: Evidence and Opportunities 2017

The underrepresentation of women and racial and ethnic minorities in computer science (CS) and other fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is a serious impediment to technological innovation as well as an affront to fundamental notions of fairness and equity. These gaps emerge in the early grades and tend to persist, if not widen, throughout the secondary and postsecondary years. The unconscious biases (UB) of teachers, school administrators, and fellow students may contribute meaningfully to the persistence of these gaps. Fortunately, a nascent literature on targeted interventions that directly address UB suggests there may be compelling opportunities to promote broader engagement in CS and STEM education and employment.

The fields of neuroscience, social psychology, economics, and sociology articulate the many possible origins of UB and the ways in which UB can harm stereotyped groups, particularly in educational settings. This interdisciplinary literature yields two troubling, important insights:

» Humans consciously and unconsciously store experiences in our brains and those experiences (memories) later influence instantaneous, automatic decision-making, which is critical to cognitive functioning and cannot be turned off.

» Exposure to UB can trigger self-fulfilling prophecies by changing stereotyped groups’ behaviors to conform to stereotypes, even when the stereotype was initially untrue.

These insights provide specific guidance for mitigating the negative consequences of UB via interventions that disrupt the channels through which UB influences individuals and that highlight the insidiousness of UB, respectively.