A particular resiliency to threatening environments

Michael Inzlicht, Joshua Aronson, Catherine Good, Linda McKay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Being in the numerical minority can impair intellectual performance. We suggest, however, that these negative effects need not extend to everyone because some people-specifically high self-monitors-can overcome the effects of situationally activated stereotypes. In two studies, we manipulated the race/sex composition of small groups and assessed intellectual performance. Results revealed that: (a) self-monitoring moderated the effects of group-composition on performance, such that it was positively related to performance in stressful minority settings, (b) the number of out-group members in a group caused a linear effect on performance that differed for high and low self-monitors, and (c) stereotype activation mediated self-monitoring's moderating effect on performance. Thus, high self-monitors may be resilient to threatening environments because they react to negative stereotypes with increased (and not decreased) performance. We discuss these results in relation to theories of inter-group contact, stereotype threat, and stress and coping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-336
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Coping
  • Minority environments
  • Resiliency
  • Self-monitoring
  • Solo status
  • Stereotype threat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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