How do negative stereotypes affect black students?

A good deal of recent research points to a psychological factor in this under performance that appears to be much more susceptible to intervention responses from African Americans to stereotypes claiming inferior ability over their group.

This psychological factor is termed a "threat of stereotype" and is described as a social psychological situation rooted in the dominant American image of African Americans as intellectually inferior.

The basic notion behind the stereotype analysis of threats is the following: in situations where a stereotype about capacities is a challenging intellectual test, being called to speak in class, etc. Black students have an emotional Burden not supported by people for whom the stereotype does not apply.

This burden takes the form of a disturbing apprehension of performance, anxiety about the possibility of confirming a deep negative racial inferiority in the eyes of others, in the eyes themselves, or both at the same time.

It is important that it is not necessary for a student to create the stereotype to feel this burden. He or she only needs to be aware of the stereotype and care enough about performance well in the domain (for example, in the test, in the math class) to want to refute the unflattering implications of the stereotype.

The threat of stereotyping seems to undermine academic achievement mainly in two ways. First, in the short term, it can impair performance by inducing anxiety. Numerous laboratory experiments involving African-American universities have documented this short-term effect.

Induce stereotype threat-accentuate intelligence by presenting a test as a measure of ability by emphasizing race by having examiners indicate their race in the test booklet significantly undermined the performance of African Americans in intellectual tests such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

The same studies showed how to minimize the threat of stereotype-for example, characterizing a standardized, non-diagnostic capacity test significantly improved performance, eliminating in many cases African-American and white performance differences.

In many of these studies, anxiety levels (as measured by direct blood pressure measurements) were significantly higher under stereotyped threat conditions.

The second form of stereotype threat seems to undermine achievement is through the "disidentification", the psychological, disconnection of the achievement hypothesis to help students cope with the stereotyped threat and inferior performance. In a given domain.

Many researchers have pointed out that to promote and maintain self-esteem, students tend to identify that is, to base their self-esteem on domains in which they can excel. To sustain self-esteem it is necessary to succeed in a domain, if possible or to disidentify from the domain if success is elusive.
Disidentification occurs when a network delimits the concept of itself so that a threatened domain is no longer used as the basis of self-esteem.

It should be noted that the process of disidentification can take various forms, ranging from temporal or specific situations of the situation devaluation of a domain in response to negative results to a more chronic divestment of the self from one or more domains of achievement.

Devaluation, an early stage of disidentification, can be observed when the student proclaims that "math is for nerds," in response to receiving a poor grade in math class.
But often, this type of devaluation is short-lived, a temporary disconnect of self-esteem results in a domain. But over time, chronic disconnection of this type may lead the student to completely disidentify himself from mathematics.

There is increasing evidence that, partly because of the stereotyped threat, African Americans are more likely than their White counterparts to disidentify from academics.

Since we are supposed to identify with Crucial for success in college or school, any force or set of forces that frustrates this psychological commitment can be a serious barrier to achievement.
In sum, both responses to the stereotypical behavior of the threat deterioration test and reduced identification - can critically depress student achievement in college.

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