Recent research has documented the pervasive effects of social identities on task performance. Our research examines the influence of the tasks themselves on the salience of competing identities. In Study 1, student-athletes were primed with their athlete identity, their student identity, or no identity. Consistent with research on stereotype threat, those primed with their athlete identity had lower self-regard and performed less well on a challenging math test than did those primed with their student identity. For participants who received no identity prime, performance varied by task: They provided self-ratings similar to participants in the athlete-prime condition but showed test performance similar to participants in the student-prime condition. A second study provided further evidence that the performance of these two tasks elicited different identities among student-athletes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology