Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 4, Issue 3–4, pp 295–310

Stereotype Threat, Social Class, Gender, and Academic Under-Achievement: When Our Reputation Catches Up to Us and Takes Over

  • Jean-Claude Croizet
  • Michel Désert
  • Marion Dutrévis
  • Jacques-Philippe Leyens


According to Steele (1997), negative stereotypes about intellectual abilities can act as a threat that disrupts the performance of students targeted by bad reputations. Previous research on stereotype threat has showed that on a stereotype-relevant test, stigmatized group members (e.g., African Americans) performed worse than others on an intellectual verbal task. However, when the instructions accompanying the test did not create stereotype threat, stigmatized group members' performance was equal to that of other participants. In this paper, we present studies documenting the effect of stereotype threat and discuss ways to counter it. Two strategies derived from Self-Categorization Theory (Turner & Oakes, 1989) and Self-Affirmation Theory (Steele, 1988) are presented, tested, and discussed.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Claude Croizet
    • 1
  • Michel Désert
    • 2
  • Marion Dutrévis
    • 3
  • Jacques-Philippe Leyens
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale de la Cognition (ESA CNRS 6024)Université Blaise PascalClermont-FerrandFrance
  2. 2.Catholic University of Louvain-La-NeuveBelgium
  3. 3.Université Blaise PascalClermont-FerrandFrance

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