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Abstract

The goal of the present study was to test the moderating role of Locus of Control beliefs on performance deficits typically associated with stereotype threat. The results from Experiment 1 were consistent with predictions. First, consistent with the Stereotype Threat model, participants showed a decrease in performance when the task was perceived as a potential test of the in-group's negative stereotype (lacking logical mathematical intelligence in the case of women and lacking social intelligence in the case of men). Most important, participants' Locus of Control beliefs were found to moderate participants' vulnerability to stereotype threat: individuals with an Internal Locus of Control, although generally performing better, showed a sharper decrease in the stereotype threat condition compared to individuals with External Locus of Control beliefs. Experiment 2 replicated the results from Experiment 1. Findings are discussed in relation to the psychological characteristics of Internal Locus of Control that may render individuals more vulnerable to the negative effects of stereotype threat. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.