Title

The Kernel of Lies: Investigating Stereotype Threat with Fake Stereotypes

Presenter Information

Jessica HodgesFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Psychology and Sociology

Minor

N/A

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Jana Hackathorn

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Previous research examining stereotype threat has shown that individuals who are reminded of a stereotype pertaining to their social group are more likely to conform to the stereotype (Steele, 1995). The idea of “stigma consciousness” arose when researchers wanted to see if individuals feared they would be stereotyped by others once their group membership became salient (Pinel, 1999). In other words, reading or hearing a stereotype about one's in-group could influence individuals to worry that they personally are being included in the group and thus, a target of the stereotype. Currently, there is no known research regarding stereotype threat evoked with the use of fake stereotypes. That is, will a person fulfill a stereotype, if the stereotype is fake. To test this, participants were invited to participate in a study regarding political affiliation. Participants were asked to identify their political affiliation so they could read information about their in-group. Regardless of their actual political affiliation, participants were randomly assigned to read a list of stereotypes targeting their group that included statements that were either positive (e.g., less racist), negative (e.g., more racist), or irrelevant (e.g., taller) to the current dependent measure. Then, they completed a survey packet that contained multiple measures, including a measure of mental health stigma (Community Attitudes Toward the Mentally Ill; CAMI; Taylor & Dear, 1981), empathy (the interpersonal reactivity index; Davis, 1980), and racism (modern racism; McConahay, 1986). It was hypothesized that participants scores would mimic their condition, regardless of valence. Data is currently being collected.

Affiliations

Psychology: Projects in Progress

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The Kernel of Lies: Investigating Stereotype Threat with Fake Stereotypes

Previous research examining stereotype threat has shown that individuals who are reminded of a stereotype pertaining to their social group are more likely to conform to the stereotype (Steele, 1995). The idea of “stigma consciousness” arose when researchers wanted to see if individuals feared they would be stereotyped by others once their group membership became salient (Pinel, 1999). In other words, reading or hearing a stereotype about one's in-group could influence individuals to worry that they personally are being included in the group and thus, a target of the stereotype. Currently, there is no known research regarding stereotype threat evoked with the use of fake stereotypes. That is, will a person fulfill a stereotype, if the stereotype is fake. To test this, participants were invited to participate in a study regarding political affiliation. Participants were asked to identify their political affiliation so they could read information about their in-group. Regardless of their actual political affiliation, participants were randomly assigned to read a list of stereotypes targeting their group that included statements that were either positive (e.g., less racist), negative (e.g., more racist), or irrelevant (e.g., taller) to the current dependent measure. Then, they completed a survey packet that contained multiple measures, including a measure of mental health stigma (Community Attitudes Toward the Mentally Ill; CAMI; Taylor & Dear, 1981), empathy (the interpersonal reactivity index; Davis, 1980), and racism (modern racism; McConahay, 1986). It was hypothesized that participants scores would mimic their condition, regardless of valence. Data is currently being collected.