This research was supported in part by the College Entrance Examination Board. For Study 1, the authors thank Walter B. MacDonald for encouraging the research; Amy C. Cellini, Rick Morgan, and Gita Z. Wilder for advising on the experimental design; Amy C. Cellini for coordinating the data collection; Lorraine Emans, Tammy Haston, Kristine A. Nickerson, and Margaret L. Redman for recruiting AP classes; Geraldine Kovar, Behroz T. Manechshana, and Rick Morgan for providing AP test data; Donald A. Rock for advising on the statistical analysis; Thomas J. Jirele and Ting Lu for computer analysis; and Walter Emmerich for advising on the interpretation of the findings. For Study 2, the authors thank Central Piedmont Community College for cooperating in the study; David A. Rhoden for coordinating the data collection; Margaret L. Redman for preparing the data for analysis; and Laura M. Jenkins and Xuefei Hui for computer analysis. The authors also thank Rick Morgan, Claude M. Steele, and Gita Z. Wilder for reviewing a draft of the article. Any opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and not necessarily of Educational Testing Service.
Stereotype Threat, Inquiring About Test Takers' Ethnicity and Gender, and Standardized Test Performance1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 34, Issue 4, pages 665–693, April 2004
How to Cite
Stricker, L. J. and Ward, W. C. (2004), Stereotype Threat, Inquiring About Test Takers' Ethnicity and Gender, and Standardized Test Performance. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34: 665–693. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2004.tb02564.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Steele and Aronson (1995) found that the performance of Black research participants on ability test items portrayed as a problem-solving task, in laboratory experiments, was affected adversely when they were asked about their ethnicity. This outcome was attributed to stereotype threat: Performance was disrupted by participants' concerns about fulfilling the negative stereotype concerning Black people's intellectual ability. The present field experiments extended that research to other ethnic groups and to males and females taking operational tests. The experiments evaluated the effects of inquiring about ethnicity and gender on the performance of students taking 2 standardized tests—the Advanced Placement Calculus AB Examination, and the Computerized Placement Tests—in actual test administrations. This inquiry did not have any effects on the test performance of Black, female, or other subgroups of students that were both statistically and practically significant.