Beyond Performance: A Motivational Experiences Model of Stereotype Threat

Abstract

The contributing role of stereotype threat (ST) to learning and performance decrements for stigmatized students in highly evaluative situations has been vastly documented and is now widely known by educators and policy makers. However, recent research illustrates that underrepresented and stigmatized students’ academic and career motivations are influenced by ST more broadly, particularly through influences on achievement orientations, sense of belonging, and intrinsic motivation. Such a focus moves conceptualizations of ST effects in education beyond the influence on a student’s performance, skill level, and feelings of self-efficacy per se to experiencing greater belonging uncertainty and lower interest in stereotyped tasks and domains. These negative experiences are associated with important outcomes such as decreased persistence and domain identification, even among students who are high in achievement motivation. In this vein, we present and review support for the Motivational Experience Model of ST, a self-regulatory model framework for integrating research on ST, achievement goals, sense of belonging, and intrinsic motivation to make predictions for how stigmatized students’ motivational experiences are maintained or disrupted, particularly over long periods of time.

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Preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by grant 1R01GM098462-01 from the National Institute of General Medical Science. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are our own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Institutes of Health.

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Thoman, D.B., Smith, J.L., Brown, E.R. et al. Beyond Performance: A Motivational Experiences Model of Stereotype Threat. Educ Psychol Rev 25, 211–243 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-013-9219-1

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Keywords

  • Stereotype
  • Stereotype threat
  • Motivation
  • Self-regulation
  • Interest
  • Belonging