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      A threat in the air. How stereotypes shape intellectual identity and performance.

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      The American psychologist

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          Abstract

          A general theory of domain identification is used to describe achievement barriers still faced by women in advanced quantitative areas and by African Americans in school. The theory assumes that sustained school success requires identification with school and its subdomains; that societal pressures on these groups (e.g., economic disadvantage, gender roles) can frustrate this identification; and that in school domains where these groups are negatively stereotyped, those who have become domain identified face the further barrier of stereotype threat, the threat that others' judgments or their own actions will negatively stereotype them in the domain. Research shows that this threat dramatically depresses the standardized test performance of women and African Americans who are in the academic vanguard of their groups (offering a new interpretation of group differences in standardized test performance), that it causes disidentification with school, and that practices that reduce this threat can reduce these negative effects.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Am Psychol
          The American psychologist
          0003-066X
          0003-066X
          Jun 1997
          : 52
          : 6
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Psychology, Stanford University, CA 94305, USA. steele@psych.stanford.edu
          Article
          9174398
          780e03a2-54df-47b6-8baf-56ab860d5a12

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