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In 2008, for the first time in the history of this country, a black woman became First Lady of the United States. During Barack Obama's presidency, Michelle Obama was ever present in the public eye for her advocacy on issues related to health, military families, education, and for promoting the interests of women and girls. This article contributes to ongoing scholarly discourse, as well as extensive media coverage and analysis, regarding Obama's role as wife and first lady by critically examining how the particular model of motherhood she embraced and exhibited, a model firmly rooted in the black American community, was designed to challenge negative stereotypes of black women, maternity, and families. We address the following questions in this work: How did Obama's identity as a black woman influence the policies she championed as first lady? Does Obama's mothering relate to stereotypes of black mothers and help (re)define black motherhood, and if so, how? What does it mean to be a black mater gentis or mother of the nation? Drawing on her speeches and policy initiatives, we reveal how Michelle Obama defied dominant and oppressive stereotypes of black women and mothers while simultaneously (re)defining black womanhood and motherhood for the nation.
Objectives: The current study aimed to examine if televised media about mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) framed in a sensationalized manner had a negative impact on cognitive functioning and persistent mTBI symptoms. Methods: One hundred two participants (MAge=37.16; SD=22.61) with a history of post-acute mTBI, recruited through a community research registry and an undergraduate recruitment system, were included in this study. Participants were assessed with a measure of health literacy, the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA), and randomized to watch either a sensationalized or non-sensationalized news clip focused on mTBI. They were then assessed with the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT), Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ), Patient Reported Outcome Measures Information System (PROMIS) Depression scale, and the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (PCL-5). Results: Bayesian analyses indicated that sensationalized media—alone (βPASAT=−0.08; βRPQ=−0.08) or in the context of covariates (βPASAT=−0.11; βRPQ=−0.14)—was not a strong predictor of PASAT score or post-concussion syndrome symptom severity. Conclusions: Although media sensationalization of mTBI symptoms is not desirable, this study suggests that one brief exposure to sensationalized information may not have a meaningful immediate impact on the cognitive functioning or symptom reporting of individuals with a history of mTBI. Future research should examine long-term and downstream effects of sensationalized media reporting in samples with greater diversity of TBI history. (JINS, 2019, 25, 90–100)
In discussions of the underrepresentation of women in professional philosophy, those sceptical of discrimination as an explanation often suggest that gender differences in interests are a plausible alternative hypothesis. Some suspect that if women’s differing interests explains underrepresentation, then interventions suggested by the discrimination hypothesis might be unnecessary—or even risky. I argue that one needs to consider how stereotypes might influence interests, and that doing so can provide a more even-handed assessment of the risks involved in proposed interventions.
Objectives: There is mixed evidence regarding whether patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) display substantial neurocognitive deficits. Several studies implicate poor motivation, comorbid disorders, or distraction due to obsessive thoughts as potential causes of secondary malperformance. The present study examined the impact of stereotype threat (i.e., confrontation with a negative stereotype may impair performance) on neuropsychological functioning in individuals with OCD. We hypothesized that a stereotype threat cue emphasizing neurocognitive deficits in OCD (as is often conveyed in disclosure and consent documents that inform patients about the purpose of a study) would compromise patients’ test performance relative to a control group who did not receive such cue. Methods: Fifty participants with either a verified or a likely diagnosis of OCD were recruited online and randomly assigned to either an experimental condition aimed to elicit stereotype threat or a control condition. Both groups underwent (objective) memory and attention (Go/NoGo task) assessments and completed questionnaires capturing psychopathology, cognitive complaints, and self-stigma. Results: As hypothesized, patients in the stereotype threat condition performed worse on the Go/NoGo task. Groups did not differ on any other measures. Conclusions: Stereotype threat negatively impacted neuropsychological performance on an attention task. The threat cue was perhaps too weak or the stereotype threat was already internalized by the patients and “saturated” at baseline so that no effect emerged on the other measures. Implications for clinical trials are discussed. (JINS, 2018, 24, 584–592)
Few studies have examined the linkage of perceived sexism with stereotype threat and psychological responses in a work setting and moderators that may buffer this negative effect. In Study 1, the relationships among perceived sexism, stereotype threat, and psychological responses were explored among Thai female employees (N = 296) in a self-report questionnaire study. The aim of Study 2 was to investigate whether mindfulness can mitigate the disastrous effect of sexism on performance, using an experimental design. In Study 1, the standard error of measurement (SEM) results observed a partial mediation effect of stereotype threat for the sexism-disidentification relationship, and sexism only had a significant direct effect on career aspirations. In Study 2, the interaction effect of sexism × mindfulness on the female participants’ reasoning test scores was significant, indicating that those with mindfulness practice performed better when being exposed to sexist behaviours. The current research provides additional information on understanding the impact of sexism on disengagement and decreased career aspirations among Thai female employees in male-dominated industries. In practice, Thai organisations should be concerned about the impact of sexism on disengagement and the protective factor of performance decrements by encouraging anti-sexist norms and fostering the cultivation of mindfulness through practice.
One of the best-known empirical findings in the political sciences is the gender difference in political knowledge: women show less political knowledge than men. Conventional research argues that this difference is mainly a product of socialization, structural factors, and biology. Our paper brings a new perspective to the explanation of the gender gap in political knowledge. Based on an online survey and an experiment1, we emphasize the relevance of gender stereotypes as a situational pressure that reduces the performance of women in a political knowledge test. Two conclusions emerge from the analysis: First, our results indicate the existence of a negative stereotype related to the political knowledge of women. Second, the activation of gender stereotypes affects performance on a political knowledge test. Consistent with previous research on stereotype threat, our results indicate that the performance of men on a political knowledge test is affected by gender stereotypes.
This study investigates people's implicit stereotype of the social group of the rich in terms of competence and warmth. We further examine the stereotype's relationship with temporal selves. Implicit Association Tests were used as measures of implicit social perception in a social comparison context. We also rated the degree of psychological connectedness between current and possible future selves across time. Our results demonstrate that the rich are implicitly perceived as having high levels of competence and low levels of warmth compared to the average person, and that a close psychological connectedness mitigates the negative perception of the rich. The implications and limitations of these findings are also discussed.
In light of recent social psychological literature, I expand Miranda Fricker’s important notion of testimonial injustice. A fair portion of Fricker’s account rests on an older paradigm of stereotype and prejudice. Given recent empirical work, I argue for what I dub prescriptive credibility deficits in which a backlash effect leads to the assignment of a diminished level of credibility to persons who act in counter-stereotypic manners, thereby flouting prescriptive stereotypes. The notion of a prescriptive credibility deficit is not merely an interesting conceptual addendum that can be appended to Fricker’s theory without need for further emendation. I develop the wider implications of prescriptive credibility deficits and argue that they pose a challenge to Fricker’s conception of (1) the function of credibility assignments in conversational exchange and (2) how a virtuous listener should respond to the potential threat of a prejudicial stereotype affecting her credibility assignments.
Older employees face a severe employability problem, partly because of dominant stereotypes about them. This study investigates stereotypes of older employees in corporate and news media. Drawing on the Stereotype Content Model, we content analysed newspaper coverage and corporate media of 50 large-scale Dutch organisations, published between 2006 and 2013. The data revealed that stereotypical portrayals of older employees are more common in news media than in corporate media and mixed in terms of valence. Specifically, older employees were positively portrayed with regard to warmth stereotypes, such as trustworthiness, but negatively with regard to competence stereotypes, such as technological competence and adaptability. Additionally, stereotypical portrayals that do not clearly belong to warmth or competence dimensions are found, such as the mentoring role stereotype and the costly stereotype. Because competence stereotypes weigh more heavily in employers’ productivity perceptions, these media portrayals might contribute to the employability problem of older employees. We suggest that older employees could benefit from a more realistic media debate about their skills and capacities.
Past research shows that candidates' racial identities influence the assumptions that voters draw about how they will behave in office. In a national survey experiment examining televised candidate advertisements, we find evidence that stereotypes differ both in their potency and how vulnerable they are to disconfirmation. Consistent with previous work, black candidates are broadly assumed to be more liberal than white candidates, although the effect is notably small in magnitude. Yet when it comes to more specific stereotypes—how black candidates will behave on individual issues—effects are not only much larger, but also more contingent on what information is available. We find that by providing a small bit of ideological information, black candidates can overcome the assumption that they will enact liberal policies as concerns taxation and non-racialized aspects of social welfare policy. But it is much more difficult for them to overturn the assumption that they will prioritize aid to minorities while in office.
The impact of stereotype threat and self-efficacy beliefs on neuropsychological test performance in a clinical traumatic brain injury (TBI) population was investigated. A total of 42 individuals with mild-to-moderate TBI and 42 (age-, gender-, educationally matched) healthy adults were recruited. The study consisted of a 2 (Type of injury: control, TBI) × 2 (Threat Condition: reduced threat, heightened threat) between-participants design. The purpose of the reduced threat condition was to reduce negative stereotyped beliefs regarding cognitive effects of TBI and to emphasize personal control over cognition. The heightened threat condition consisted of an opposing view. Main effects included greater anxiety, motivation, and dejection but reduced memory self-efficacy for head-injured-groups, compared to control groups. On neuropsychological testing, the TBI-heightened-threat-group displayed lower scores on Initial Encoding (initial recall) and trended toward displaying lower scores on Attention (working memory) compared to the TBI-reduced-threat-group. No effect was found for Delayed Recall measures. Memory self-efficacy mediated the relation between threat condition and neuropsychological performance, indicating a potential mechanism for the threat effect. The findings highlight the impact of stereotype threat and self-referent beliefs on neuropsychological test performance in a clinical TBI population. (JINS, 2013, 20, 1–11)
Increasing numbers of female candidates are running for Congress in American national elections. Despite the rise in female candidates running for office, women are not significantly increasing their presence in the House and Senate. A much hypothesized influence over the electoral fates of female candidates is the role of gender stereotypes. However, political science scholars have struggled to pinpoint the effect of stereotypes on vote choice, if there is any effect. This essay compares the way social psychology and political science scholars theoretically, conceptually and empirically test for gender stereotype influence over evaluations of female candidates and politicians. Differences emerge in the theoretical assumptions made in the two disciplines, the types of measures used in research, and the empirical tests conducted to demonstrate the presence or absence of stereotypes in evaluations of women. The discussion explores how scholars studying female candidates and politicians can integrate insights from social psychology to clarify the role of stereotypes in candidate evaluation and choice.
The purpose of the current study was to examine the predictive roles of stereotype threat and perceived discrimination and the mediating role of examiner-examinee racial discordance on neuropsychological performance in a non-clinical sample of African American and Caucasian individuals. Ninety-two African American (n = 45) and Caucasian (n = 47) adults were randomly assigned to either a stereotype threat or non-threat condition. Within each condition, participants were randomly assigned to either a same race or different race examiner. All participants underwent neuropsychological testing and completed a measure of perceived discrimination. African Americans in the stereotype threat condition performed significantly worse on global NP (Mz = −.30, 95% confidence interval [CI] [−0.07, −0.67] than African Americans in the non-threat condition (Mz = 0.09, CI [0.15, 0.33]. African Americans who reported high levels of perceived discrimination performed significantly worse on memory tests when tested by an examiner of a different race, Mz = −1.19, 95% CI [−1.78, −.54], than African Americans who were tested by an examiner of the same race, Mz = 0.24, 95% CI [−0.24, 0.72]. The current study underscores the importance of considering the role of contextual variables in neuropsychological performance, as these variables may obscure the validity of results among certain racial/ethnic groups. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–10)
Cognitive performance can be impacted by many non-neurological factors, including preexisting expectations. The phenomenon of stereotype threat, or reduced cognitive performance due to preexisting beliefs, can apply to individuals following neurological injury (i.e., “diagnosis threat”). We examined the effect of diagnosis threat on cognitive performance and symptom reporting following concussions while accounting for group identification (i.e., extent to which one's identity is tied to being concussed). We also examined gender stereotype threat (i.e., women and math ability) to understand how these two related threat effects compare. Participants with a history of concussion were randomly assigned to one of three instructional sets emphasizing concussion history or gender, or neutral instructions. Individuals without a history of concussion served as a comparison group. Results revealed an effect of diagnosis threat on cognitive performance after group identification was taken into account, but only in male participants. In contrast, an underlying gender stereotype threat was observed in females across conditions, which was counteracted in the gender stereotype condition (i.e., stereotype reactance effect) due to the type of threat cues used. Also, controls exhibited greater symptom reporting than individuals with a concussion. Our findings highlight the importance of considering non-neurological factors impacting cognitive performance. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–9)
We examined the influence of interdependence goals on the accessibility of implicit gender stereotypical associations. Participants were asked to cooperate with or compete against a woman on a mathematical abilities task and subsequently the relative activation of positive and negative warmth and competence traits was measured using a primed categorization task. Results showed that female primes (vs. male primes) facilitated the activation of low warmth and high competence in the competition condition, whereas high warmth was activated in the cooperation condition and no differences were found for competence traits. These results are discussed referring to the stereotype content model and the compensation effect in person perception. The goal dependent nature of implicit gender stereotypes is emphasized.
In 2008, almost 40% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion at The University of Sydney failed to complete the course. Although this was not considered unusual when compared to previous years, the decision was made to investigate why so many students struggled to meet the expectations of a course that was pedagogically progressive, culturally affirming, taught by highly regarded academics and strongly supported by the university and its stakeholders. A qualitative study using in-depth semi-structured interviews was conducted, and many complex and interrelated issues were explored. One issue that was raised both unexpectedly and emphatically by almost half the study participants who completed the course was the unintentional stifling of individual student effort and achievement through the development of co-dependent relationships between academic staff and students. This article presents the data relevant to this particular issue, reflects on the findings, and outlines some of the strategies implemented since this study commenced that have contributed to a healthy completion rate of 98% over the past 3 years.
“Simple generics” with bare plural subjects (e.g., dogs bark) predicate of a kind a property that the kind “inherits” from its individual members. But what does that inheritance amount to if it is not, like most dogs bark, based on how many individuals have the property. My conclusion: there is no determinate account of which (fundamentally individual-level) properties can be truly predicated of a kind: generics are not quantificational, and language users’ interests guide judgments on their truth-conditions. At the same time, even “canonical” predications of ordinary predicates of ordinary individuals are not so straightforward as they might appear. Generic claims about social groups show the indeterminacy of truth conditions for simple generics and the relation to stereotypes and sometimes conflicting interests.