Advertisement

Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 491–501 | Cite as

Stereotype threat, test anxiety, and mathematics performance

  • Tobias TempelEmail author
  • Roland Neumann
Article

Abstract

We investigated the combined effects of stereotype threat and trait test anxiety on mathematics test performance. Stereotype threat and test anxiety interacted with each other in affecting performance. Trait test anxiety predicted performance only in a diagnostic condition that prevented stereotype threat by stereotype denial. A state measure of fear of the test mediated this influence. However, stereotype threat reduced the performance of low test-anxious participants to the level of high test-anxious participants. Thus, stereotype threat affected persons low in test anxiety but not persons high in test anxiety. Both phenomena apparently share common mechanisms through which they impair performance.

Keywords

Trait anxiety State anxiety Worry Gender  Stereotype threat 

References

  1. Ambady, N., Paik, S. K., Steele, J., Owen-Smith, A., & Mitchell, J. P. (2004). Deflecting negative self-relevant stereotype activation: The effects of individuation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40, 401–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aronson, J., Lustina, M. J., Good, C., Keough, K., Steele, C. M., & Brown, J. (1999). When white men can’t do math: Necessary and sufficient factors in stereotype threat. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 35, 29–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 51, 1173–1182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beilock, S. L., Jellison, W. A., Rydell, R. J., McConnell, A. R., & Carr, T. H. (2006). On the causal mechanisms of stereotype threat: Can skills that don’t rely heavily on working memory still be threatened? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 1059–1071.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brodish, A. B., & Devine, P. G. (2009). The role of performance-avoidance goals and worry in mediating the relationship between stereotype threat and performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 180–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown, R. P., & Pinel, E. C. (2003). Stigma on my mind: Individual differences in the experience of stereotype threat. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 626–633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cadinu, M., Maass, A., Rosabianca, A., & Kiesner, J. (2005). Why do women underperform under stereotype threat? Psychological Science, 16, 572–578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Darke, S. (1988). Anxiety and working memory capacity. Cognition & Emotion, 2, 145–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Derakshan, N., & Eysenck, M. W. (1998). Working memory capacity in high trait-anxious and represser groups. Cognition & Emotion, 12, 697–713.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dutke, S., & Stöber, J. (2001). Test anxiety, working memory, and cognitive performance: Supportive effects of sequential demands. Cognition & Emotion, 15, 381–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eysenck, M. W. (1979). Anxiety, learning, and memory: A reconceptualization. Journal of Research in Personality, 13, 363–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hembree, R. (1988). Correlates, causes, effects, and treatment of test anxiety. Review of Educational Research, 58, 47–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hodapp, V. (1991). Das Prüfungsängstlichkeitsinventar TAI-G: Eine erweiterte und modifizierte Version mit vier Komponenten [The Test Anxiety Inventory TAI-G: An expanded and modified version with four components]. Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 5, 121–130.Google Scholar
  14. Ikeda, M., Iwanaga, M., & Seiwa, H. (1996). Test anxiety and working memory system. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 82, 1223–1231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Liebert, R. M., & Morris, L. W. (1967). Cognitive and emotional components of test anxiety: A distinction and some initial data. Psychological Reports, 20, 975–978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Martens, A., Johns, M., Greenberg, J., & Schimel, J. (2006). Combating stereotype threat: The effect of self-affirmation on women’s intellectual performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 236–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. McGlone, M. S., & Aronson, J. (2006). Stereotype threat, identity salience, and spatial reasoning. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 27, 486–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. MacLeod, C., & Donnellan, A. M. (1993). Individual differences in anxiety and the restriction of working memory capacity. Personality and Individual Differences, 15, 163–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nguyen, H.-H. D., & Ryan, A. M. (2008). Does stereotype threat affect test performance of minorities and women? A meta-analysis of experimental evidence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 1314–1334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2004). SPSS and SAS procedures for estimating indirect effects in simple mediation models. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 36, 717–731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Richards, A., French, C. C., Keogh, E., & Carter, C. (2000). Test anxiety, inferential reasoning and working memory load. Anxiety, Stress & Coping: An International Journal, 13, 87–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Schmader, T. (2002). Gender identification moderates stereotype threat effects on women’s math performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38, 194–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Schmader, T., & Johns, M. (2003). Converging evidence that stereotype threat reduces working memory capacity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 440–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Schmader, T., Johns, M., & Barquisseau, M. (2004). The cost of accepting gender differences: The role of stereotype endorsement in women’s experience in the math domain. Sex Roles, 50, 835–850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schmader, T., Johns, M., & Forbes, C. (2008). An integrated process model of stereotype threat effects on performance. Psychological Review, 115, 336–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Schwarzer, R. (1984). Worry and emotionality as separate components in test anxiety. International Review of Applied Psychology, 33, 205–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Seipp, B. (1991). Anxiety and academic performance: A meta-analysis of findings. Anxiety, Stress & Coping: An International Journal, 4, 27–41.Google Scholar
  28. Spencer, S. J., Steele, C. M., & Quinn, D. M. (1999). Stereotype threat and women’s math performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 35, 4–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Spielberger, C. D. (1980). Test anxiety inventory. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  30. Steele, C. M., & Aronson, J. (1995). Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 797–811.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stöber, J. (2004). Dimensions of test anxiety: Relations to ways of coping with pre-exam anxiety and uncertainty. Anxiety, Stress & Coping, 17, 213–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stone, J., Lynch, C. I., Sjomeling, M., & Darley, J. M. (1999). Stereotype threat effects on black and white athletic performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 1213–1227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wacker, A., Jaunzeme, J., & Jaksztat, S. (2008). Eine Kurzform des Prüfungsängstlichkeitsinventars TAI-G [A short version of the test anxiety inventory TAI-G]. Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 22, 73–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ware, W. B., Galassi, J. P., & Dew, K. M. H. (1990). The test anxiety inventory: A confirmatory factor analysis. Anxiety Research, 3, 205–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fachbereich I—PsychologieUniversity of TrierTrierGermany

Personalised recommendations