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Your Corner: "Stereotype threat"

13 June 2011 [16:54] - TODAY.AZ
Your Corner" is exactly what you think it is - your stories, pictures, art, and pretty much everything else you can share with the rest.
This "Your Corner" post features an interesting article from one of our readers, Igbal Mammadov, an azerbaijani student currently studying in Seoul, South Korea. The article below is about stereotypes that our society still has to deal with today.


"Stereotype threat"

Stereotype threat is the experience of anxiety or concern in a situation which doesn’t allow a person utilize her or his maximum potential in whatever task he or she is going in compared to other group of people. It was first found by social psychologist Cloude Steel and his colleagues, stereotype threat has been shown to reduce the performance of individuals who belong to negatively stereotyped groups.

For example, researches, shows that when African Americans are going into SAT exam used for university entrance in US, their scores is lower than other groups so the image on these people is that they are not intelligent as much as other groups. But actually it is not as it is thought.

Most of people are vulnerable to stereotype threat if they encounter a situation in which the stereotype is relevant. However situational factors also increase stereotype threat include the difficulty of the task, the individual’s belief that the task measures their ability, and the relevance of the negative stereotype to the task.

But individuals are doing well when they want to do well on such tasks, because they are identified by themselves very strongly. Another example for the stereotype threat might be effects of stereotype threat on undergraduate women’s math performance. For decades it has been known that, men are relatively better at math than women.

But studies show that members of both genders are showing equal performance in both elementary and middle school, however when beginning in junior high school and continuing through adulthood the gender gaps widens between boys’ and girls’ math scores.

The major things that contribute to the difference between boys and girls in math scores are environmental, societal and educational factors according to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES).

In order to get rid of stereotype threat i think all groups of society should have same equal rights, and also people would have strong gender identity. From this perspective Sweden could be a good example, because according to a recent analysis by the World Economic Forum, the gaps between men and women in Sweden on economic, political, education, and health variables are the smallest in the world.

Because they are encouraging self-affirmation, providing different role models, providing external attributions for difficulty, emphasizing incremental view of intelligence and other important methods. I think we need to learn more from Sweden and implement such system in our society, in terms of getting advances in human rights and also reducing the level of discrimination, and racism.


Igbal Mammadov
Kyung Hee, South Korea, Seoul


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