The ups and downs of attributional ambiguity: Stereotype vulnerability and the academic self-knowledge of African American college students

Joshua Aronson, Michael Inzlicht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This research examined whether stereotype vulnerability - the tendency to expect, perceive, and be influenced by negative stereotypes about one's social category - is associated with uncertainty about one's academic self-knowledge in two important ways. We predicted that stereotype-vulnerable African American students would (a) know less about how much they know than less vulnerable students do and (b) have unstable academic efficacy. In Study 1, Black and White participants took a verbal test and indicated the probability that each of their answers was correct. As expected, stereotype-vulnerable Black participants were more miscalibrated than other participants. In Study 2, participants completed measures of self-efficacy twice daily for 8 days. Also as expected, the academic efficacy of stereotype-vulnerable Blacks fluctuated more - and more extremely - than that of other participants. The results suggest that, in addition to undermining intellectual performance, stigma interferes with academic self-knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)829-836
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Science
Volume15
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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