In this paper I discuss the interrelated topics of stereotype threat and attributional ambiguity as they relate to gender and gender identity. The former has become an emerging topic in feminist philosophy and has spawned a tremendous amount of research in social psychology and elsewhere. But the discussion, at least in how it connects to gender, is incomplete: the focus is only on cisgender women and their experiences. By considering trans women's experiences of stereotype threat and attributional ambiguity, (...) we gain a deeper understanding of the phenomena and their problematic effects. (shrink)
For decades, intelligence and achievement tests have registered significant differences between people of different races, ethnicities, classes, and genders. We argue that most of these differences are explained not as reflections of differences in the distribution of intellectual virtues but as evidence for the metacognitive mediation of the intellectual virtues. For example, in the United States, blacks typically score worse than whites on tests of mathematics. This might lead one to think that fewer blacks possess the relevant intellectual virtues, or (...) that they possess them less fully. However, research on stereotype threat shows that when blacks are not reminded of their race, they do much better on these tests than when they are. Simply raising to salience the race of the student triggers the activation of the stereotype, which in turn leads to poorer performance. However, learning about stereotype threat to a large extent immunizes people against it. This suggests that the psycho-social dimension of intelligence that recognizes the possibility of effects like stereotype threat is a crucial mediating variable in the development and expression of the intellectual virtues. The Socratic, “Know thyself” needs to be expanded to, “Know thyself and thy society.” Self-knowledge and knowledge of relevant stereotypes are a necessary condition for optimal development and expression of the other intellectual virtues. (shrink)
Though stereotype threat is most well-known for its ability to hinder performance, it actually has a wide range of effects. For instance, it can also cause stress, anxiety, and doubt. These additional effects are as important and as central to the phenomenon as its effects on performance are. As a result, stereotype threat has more far-reaching implications than many philosophers have realized. In particular, the phenomenon has a number of unexplored “epistemic effects.” These are effects on our epistemic (...) lives—i.e., the ways we engage with the world as actual and potential knowers. In this paper I flesh out the implications of a specific epistemic effect: self-doubt. Certain kinds of self-doubt can deeply affect our epistemic lives by exacerbating moments of epistemic injustice and by interacting with pernicious ideals of rationality. In both cases, self-doubt can lead to a person questioning their own humanity or full personhood. Since we have reasons to believe that stereotype threat can trigger this kind of self-doubt, then stereotype threat can affect various aspects of ourselves besides our ability to perform to our potential. It can also affect our very sense of self. (shrink)
This paper shows how amatonormativity and its attendant social pressures converge at the intersections of race, gender, romantic relationality, and sexuality to generate peculiar challenges to polyamorous African American men in American society. Contrary to the view maintained in the “slut-vs-stud” phenomenon, I maintain that the label ‘player’ when applied to polyamorous African American men functions as a pernicious stereotype and has denigrating effects. Specifically, I argue that stereotyping polyamorous African American men as players estranges them from themselves and (...) it constrains their agency by preemptively foreclosing the set of possibilities of what one’s sexual or romantic relational identities can be. (shrink)
Stereotype threat—a situational context in which individuals are concerned about confirming a negative stereotype—is often shown to impact test performance, with one hypothesized mechanism being that cognitive resources are temporarily co-opted by intrusive thoughts and worries, leading individuals to underperform despite high content knowledge and ability. We test here whether stereotype threat may also impact initial student learning and knowledge formation when experienced prior to instruction. Predominantly African American fifth-grade students provided either their race or the date (...) before a videotaped, conceptually demanding mathematics lesson. Students who gave their race retained less learning over time, enjoyed the lesson less, reported a diminished desire to learn more, and were less likely to choose to engage in an optional math activity. The detrimental impact was greatest among students with high baseline cognitive resources. While stereotype threat has been well documented to harm test performance, the finding that effects extend to initial learning suggests that stereotype threat's contribution to achievement gaps may be greatly underestimated. (shrink)
Stereotype threat is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when individuals become aware that their behavior could potentially confirm a negative stereotype. Though stereotype threat is a widely studied phenomenon in social psychology, there has been relatively little scholarship on it in philosophy, despite its relevance to issues such as implicit cognition, epistemic injustice, and diversity in philosophy. However, most psychological research on stereotype threat discusses the phenomenon by using an overly narrow picture of it, which focuses (...) on one of its effects: the ability to hinder performance. As a result, almost all philosophical work on stereotype threat is solely focused on issues of performance too. -/- Social psychologists know that stereotype threat has additional effects, such as negatively impacting individuals’ motivation, interests, long-term health, and even their sense of self, but these other effects are often downplayed, or even forgotten about. Therefore, the “standard picture” of stereotype threat needs to be expanded, in order to better understand the theoretical aspects of the phenomenon, and to develop broader, more effective interventions. This dissertation develops such an “expanded picture” of stereotype threat, which emphasizes how the phenomenon can negatively impact both self-identity and epistemic agency. In doing so, I explore the nature of stereotypes more generally and argue that they undermine groups’ moral status and contribute to what is called “ontic injustice.” I also show how stereotype threat harms members of socially subordinated groups by way of coercing their self-identity and undermining their epistemic agency, which I argue is a form of epistemic injustice. Lastly, I analyze the expanded picture’s implications for addressing the low proportion of women in professional philosophy. I critically engage recent arguments that these low numbers simply reflect different interests women have, which if innate or benign, would require no intervention. My expanded picture shows the mistakes in this sort of reasoning, which is also present in discussions on the underrepresentation of women in science. The expanded picture of stereotype threat that this dissertation develops is not only practically important, but also advances key philosophical debates in social epistemology, applied ethics, and social metaphysics. (shrink)
The paper is an analytic retrospective of the author?s work during the preceding research period, involving the study of role, meaning and place of stereotypes in identity discourses. In order to explain the reasons for and ways of dealing with stereotypes, she reviews the evolution of her own research approach and the alternative approaches to the topic from the perspective of various scholarly disciplines. Seeking to avoid the trap of?interpreting stereotypes stereotypically?, the author chooses not to follow the usual method (...) whereby ethnic stereotypes are?deconstructed? as false and generalizing image of oneself and others, and exposed to social-psychological and political-anthropological critique. Instead, the author looks at stereotypes primarily in terms of their linguistic and social?semiotics? and their theoretical and practical usability. Stressing the necessity of relativizing the binary structure of discourse, the author argues that stereotypes, though indispensable as elements of the?economy? of language and thought, should be socially conceptualized and historicized in analysis. U ovom tekstu autorka daje pregled svog rada tokom proteklog projektnog perioda u kome je istrazivala ulogu, znacenje i mesto stereotipa u identitetskim diskursima. Da bi objasnila razloge i nacine svog bavljenja stereotipima, ona se osvrce kako na evoluciju sopstvenog istrazivackog postupka, tako i na alternativne pristupe temi iz perspektiva razlicitih naucnih disciplina. U nastojanju da izbegne zamku?stereotipnog tumacenja stereotipa?, autorka ne sledi uobicajeni postupak?dekonstrukcije? etnickih stereotipa, kao lane i uopstavajuce predstave o sebi i?drugom?, te njihove socijalno-psiholoske i politicko-antropoloske kritike, vec se prevashodno bavi dimenzijama jezicke i socijalne?semiotike? stereotipa i njihovom teorijskom i prakticnom upotrebljivoscu. Polazeci od neophodnosti stereotipa u?misaonoj ekonomiji?, autorka se u svom postupku zalaze za relativizaciju binarne strukture diskursa, kao i za socijalnu kontekstualizaciju i istorizaciju stereotipa u teorijskoj analizi. (shrink)
If someone says, “Asians are good at math” or “women are empathetic,” I might interject, “you're stereotyping” in order to convey my disapproval of their utterance. But why is stereotyping wrong? Before we can answer this question, we must better understand what stereotypes are and what stereotyping is. In this essay, I develop what I call the descriptive view of stereotypes and stereotyping. This view is assumed in much of the psychological and philosophical literature on implicit bias and stereotyping, yet (...) it has not been sufficiently defended. The main objection to the descriptive view is that it fails to include the common-sense idea that stereotyping is always objectionable. I argue that this is actually a benefit of the view. In the essay's final part, I put forward two hypotheses that would validate the claim that stereotyping is always morally or epistemically wrong. If these hypotheses are false—which is very likely—we have little reason to build moral or epistemic defect into the very idea of a stereotype. Moreover, we must abandon the seemingly attractive claim that judging individuals based on group membership is intrinsically wrong. (shrink)
According to Stereotype Threat Hypothesis, fear of confirming gendered stereotypes causes women to experience anxiety in circumstances wherein their performance might potentially confirm those stereotypes, such as high-stakes testing scenarios in science, technology, engineering, and math courses. This anxiety causes women to underperform, which in turn causes them to withdraw from math-intensive disciplines. STH is thought by many to account for the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields, and a growing body of evidence substantiates this hypothesis. In considering the (...) plausibility of STH as an explanation for women's disproportionate attrition from undergraduate philosophy programs, one is struck by dissimilarities between STEM and philosophy that appear to undermine the applicability of STH to the latter. In this paper, I argue that these dissimilarities are either merely apparent or merely apparently relevant to the plausibility of STH as an explanation for gender disparities in philosophy. I argue further that, if research from STEM uncovers promising strategies for confronting stereotype threat, we should think about how to apply those strategies in our introductory philosophy classrooms. (shrink)
This paper offers an unorthodox appraisal of empirical research bearing on the question of the low representation of women in philosophy. It contends that fashionable views in the profession concerning implicit bias and stereotype threat are weakly supported, that philosophers often fail to report the empirical work responsibly, and that the standards for evidence are set very low—so long as you take a certain viewpoint.
By applying classical and contemporary insights of the phenomenological tradition to key findings within the literature on stereotype threat, this paper considers the embodied effects of everyday exposure to racism and makes a contribution to the growing field of applied phenomenology. In what follows, the paper asks how a phenomenological perspective can both contribute to and enrich discussions of ST in psychology. In answering these questions, the paper uses evidence from social psychology as well as first personal testimonies from (...) members of marginalized groups to argue that subjectively experienced racial oppression is embodied and thus has effects on selfhood that are harmful. More specifically, it makes the case that what are most often considered to be temporary or context-based consequences of ST are in fact more wide reaching and harmful than assumed in that the harms that result from suffering ST become a part of one’s identity, and thus a background lens through which one experiences the world. (shrink)
Individuals who experience stereotype threat – the pressure resulting from social comparisons that are perceived as unfavourable – show performance decrements across a wide range of tasks. One account of this effect is that the cognitive pressure triggered by such threat drains the same cognitive resources that are implicated in the respective task. The present study investigates whether mindfulness can be used to moderate stereotype threat, as mindfulness has previously been shown to alleviate working-memory load. Our results show (...) that performance decrements that typically occur under stereotype threat can indeed be reversed when the individual engages in a brief mindfulness task. The theoretical implications of our findings are discussed. (shrink)
Exploring the locality stereotype with respect to CEO’s trustworthiness, we find that firms whose CEOs are from more reputable hometowns have a higher likelihood of stock price crashes, indicating the presence of a CEO “Trust Exploitation” effect, i.e. a high-trust identity does not guarantee managerial ethics; to the contrary, it could tempt CEOs to abuse outsiders’ trust, camouflage their misconducts and conceal adverse information more severely. The effect of CEO’s perceived trustworthiness on tail risk of stock price remains robust (...) when controlling for the region-level trust of firm’s headquarters, and in 2SLS regression with an instrumental variable. Further, CEO’s “Trust Exploitation” effect is more prominent among firms with lower disclosure quality, higher capital market pressure and higher CEO incentives. Our findings highlight an unexplored imperfection of individual-level trustworthiness as a reliable substitute for formal monitoring devices in terms of improving stock market stability. (shrink)
We present a study comparing, in English, perceived distributions of men and women in 422 named occupations with actual real world distributions. The first set of data was obtained from previous a large-scale norming study, whereas the second set was mostly drawn from UK governmental sources. In total, real world ratios for 290 occupations were obtained for our perceive vs. real world comparison, of which 205 were deemed to be unproblematic. The means for the two sources were similar and the (...) correlation between them was high, suggesting that people are generally accurate at judging real gender ratios, though there were some notable exceptions. Beside this correlation, some interesting patterns emerged from the two sources, suggesting some response strategies when people complete norming studies. We discuss these patterns in terms of the way real world data might complement norming studies in determining gender stereotypicality. (shrink)
The way in which the relations among philosophy, religion and politics have been built and evolved in post-1989-Romania brought about the development of several stereotypes connected to the social inutility of philosophy, to the graduates’ difficulty in adapting to the requirements of the labor market, to the lack of importance of philosophy and of philosophical education. The present text signals the crisis of philosophy due to a series of factors such as: the difficulties that the philosophical discourse has in finding (...) a place in the public debate, the negative perception of philosophy in the public mentality, the stereotypes concerning philosophy that the political representatives cultivate, and the lack of a labor market that would adequately value the competences and the expertise of the graduates in Humanities. (shrink)
In a typological and racial classification, the hypothesis is to suppose that races have existed at a “pure” level, before migrations would result in a large mixing. In this way of thinking, one forgets that migrations have always existed and thus gene flow too. When groups meet, they may or may not bleed, but they always breed.