Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 341–357 | Cite as

The consequences of stereotype threat on the academic performance of White and non-White lower income college students

  • Lisa A. Harrison
  • Chiesha M. Stevens
  • Adrienne N. Monty
  • Christine A. Coakley
Article

Abstract

This research examined whether socioeconomic stereotypes produce stereotype threat among lower, middle, or upper income college students who are either White or non-White. Before completing an academic test, participants were either told that the purpose of the research was to understand why lower income students generally perform worse on academic tests or to examine problem-solving processes. Results showed that lower income students exposed to stereotype threat experienced greater test anxiety and performed worse on the academic test than their middle income and higher income counterparts. However, lower income students who experienced stereotype threat exerted as much effort on the test as lower income students who did not experience stereotype threat. Nonetheless, they were less likely to identify with school-related subjects. Stereotype threat and reduced performance did not influence lower income students’ self-esteem. Participant race did not influence these findings. The research is discussed in light of cognitive dissonance theory.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa A. Harrison
    • 1
  • Chiesha M. Stevens
    • 1
  • Adrienne N. Monty
    • 1
  • Christine A. Coakley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCalifornia State UniversitySacramentoUSA

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