Stereotype threat: When minority members underperform

Anne Maass, Mara Cadinu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


: This chapter provides a brief overview of research on stereotype threat, and considers whether this phenomenon is specific to minority groups (defined as low status groups), or whether similar deficits may also be observed in groups that generally enjoy a high status in society but that are negatively stereotyped in a specific domain. We then review a number of individual difference variables that moderate stereotype threat and that may explain why some people are highly vulnerable to stereotype activation while others appear to resist its influence. Next, we consider what processes drive stereotype threat, including anxiety, intrusive thoughts, shift towards caution, expectancy, and disengagement. In the subsequent section we compare the stereotype threat model with other theories dealing with the link between stereotypes and performance, in particular self-fulfilling prophecy and the expectancy value model. The final sections of the chapter concern areas of application in which stereotype threat may account for performance gaps between social groups, and how to prevent it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-275
Number of pages33
JournalEuropean Review of Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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