Social identity and personal identity stereotype threat: The case of affirmative action

Colette Van Laar, Shana Levin, Stacey Sinclair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Integrating insights from research examining the effect of being seen through the lens of stereotypes on academic performance and the social identity perspective, we examine the effect of perceived affirmative action admission at college entry on academic performance at the end of the first year. We propose that stereotype threat plays a crucial moderating role in determining when performance is affected. A longitudinal study of Black and Latino students at a large multiethnic university showed that perceptions of affirmative action admission negatively affected achievement among high stereotype-threatened individuals but not among low stereotype-threatened individuals. Furthermore, the results show that stereotype threat can have its effects because of concerns for the self (personal identity stereotype threat) or because of concerns for the group (social identity stereotype threat). As expected, social identity stereotype threat negatively affected the performance of individuals high in ethnic identification, whereas personal identity stereotype threat negatively affected the performance of individuals low in ethnic identification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-310
Number of pages16
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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