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Abstract

Stereotype threat has primarily been studied with regard to test performance in academic settings, testing aptitude, ability, and intelligence, and it has been found to cause both behavioral and cognitive decrements. Although there is research on stereotype threat in the workplace, this too is usually conducted in upper-level or more academically based job tasks. This article concentrates on how stereotype threat affects those in manual labor workplace settings. This research, however, sought to test subjects on a behavioral task in a workplace setting to see if the results mirror those in academia. Stereotype threat in academic settings has been shown to cause both behavioral and cognitive decrements. It was theorized that stereotype threat would cause performance decrements for the African American participants. Participants were undergraduate students—60 Caucasian and 60 African American. All performed two manual labor tasks, sorting and assembling nuts and bolts, and a math test, half while under stereotype threat and half without stereotype threat manipulation. Results yielded significant differences between the two conditions for African Americans on both the academic and nonacademic/manual labor tasks.