Previous research on the stereotype threat phenomenon has shown that inducing a negative stereotype toward a group debilitates motor performance despite the increase in motivation. Most of the studies focused on tasks requiring technical skills. However, what happens when the task does not require technical skills but focuses on energy expenditure? To examine this question, 34 male and female participants were assigned to a negative stereotype toward women and a nullified-stereotype condition and performed 20 min of self-paced cycling exercise. The authors hypothesized better performances when participants were assigned to the negative stereotype toward women condition than when assigned to the nullified-stereotype condition. As predicted, men and women increased their performances, accompanied by increases in heart rate. Concerning women, this result provides support for the notion that the effect of inducing a negative stereotype is task dependent, but further research is needed to more deeply investigate the mechanisms involved.
Maxime Deshayes, Corentin Clément-Guillotin and Raphaël Zory
Aïna Chalabaev, Jeanick Brisswalter, Rémi Radel, Stephen A. Coombes, Christopher Easthope and Corentin Clément-Guillotin
Previous evidence shows that stereotype threat impairs complex motor skills through increased conscious monitoring of task performance. Given that one-step motor skills may not be susceptible to these processes, we examined whether performance on a simple strength task may be reduced under stereotype threat. Forty females and males performed maximum voluntary contractions under stereotypical or nullified-stereotype conditions. Results showed that the velocity of force production within the first milliseconds of the contraction decreased in females when the negative stereotype was induced, whereas maximal force did not change. In males, the stereotype induction only increased maximal force. These findings suggest that stereotype threat may impair motor skills in the absence of explicit monitoring processes, by influencing the planning stage of force production.
Aïna Chalabaev, Mélanie Emile, Karine Corrion, Yannick Stephan, Corentin Clément-Guillotin,, Christian Pradier and Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville
This article presents the development and validation of the Aging Stereotypes and Exercise Scale (ASES), which measures different dimensions of aging stereotypes in the exercise domain. Drawing on past research on older adults’ perceived barriers to exercise, these dimensions include stereotypes about positive and negative exercise outcomes for older adults and about older adults’ psychological barriers to exercise (i.e., lack of self-efficacy and motivation). Four studies involving 714 participants examined the factorial structure and invariance, temporal stability, and external validity of the scale. The results supported a 3-factor model that was invariant across age. Age differences in stereotype content appeared, with older adults holding more positive stereotypes than younger adults. Also as predicted, the more older adults endorsed negative stereotypes, the lower their physical self-worth, self-rated health, and subjective age. Last, responses to the ASES appeared to be stable over a 6-wk period.