Stereotype threat effects on black and white athletic performance

Jeff Stone, Mike Sjomeling, Christian I. Lynch, John M. Darley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

419 Scopus citations


Two experiments showed that framing an athletic task as diagnostic of negative racial stereotypes about Black or White athletes can impede their performance in sports. In Experiment 1, Black participants performed significantly worse than did control participants when performance on a golf task was framed as diagnostic of "sports intelligence." In comparison, White participants performed worse than did control participants when the golf task was framed as diagnostic of "natural athletic ability." Experiment 2 observed the effect of stereotype threat on the athletic performance of White participants for whom performance in sports represented a significant measure of their self-worth. The implications of the findings for the theory of stereotype threat (C. M. Steele, 1997) and for participation in sports are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1213-1227
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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