Why Can't I Just Be Myself? A Social Cognitive Analysis of the Working Self-Concept Under Stereotype Threat

Toni Schmader, Alyssa Croft, Jessica Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the hypothesis that stereotype threat disrupts reflexive cuing of the default self-concept and instead evokes a more reflective process of self-definition. Across two studies, a reaction time measure of math schematicity assessed prior to a math test was predicted by baseline math schematicity among men (Study 1) and women in a nonthreatening condition (Study 2). However, among women under stereotype threat, math schematicity measured prior to a diagnostic math test was unrelated to baseline math schematicity and was instead associated with explicit endorsement of math. These effects occurred for math and not language self-schemas, suggesting that under threat, the working self-concept might be derived from conscious reflection rather than automatic activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • self-schematicity
  • social cognition
  • stereotype threat
  • working self-concept

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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