Stereotype threat occurs when knowledge of a negative stereotype about a social group leads to less-than-optimal performance by members of that group. Although the stereotype threat phenomenon has been extensively studied in academic and cognitively-based tasks, it has received little attention in sport. This article reviews the existent literature on stereotype threat and discusses its implications for sports performance. The causal mechanisms of stereotype threat in sport are examined, followed by a discussion of why the cognitive processes thought to govern negative stereotype-induced performance decrements in academic and cognitively based tasks (e.g., GRE or SAT tests) may not unequivocally extend to sport skills. Finally, factors that should moderate the impact of stereotype threat in sport are outlined. Because stereotype threat has important consequences for athletics (e.g., impairing athletic performance, maintaining the underrepresentation of minority athletes in certain sports), it is a phenomenon that deserves greater attention in sport and exercise psychology research.
Sian L. Beilock and Allen R. McConnell
Yonghwan Chang, Vicki Schull, and Lisa A. Kihl
effects of these stereotypes on women’s involvement in sports and sports viewership should not be understated. Research on stereotype threat (e.g., Stone, 2002 ) suggests that the activation of negative stereotypes is likely to lead to a decrease in interest ( Farrell et al., 2011 ) and performance
Daniel M. Smith and Sarah E. Martiny
achievement settings is called stereotype threat (ST). Since the seminal paper by Steele and Aronson ( 1995 ), the detrimental ST effect has been demonstrated in numerous empirical studies, many of which are cited throughout this paper, using cognitive or motor performance tasks. The effect of ST is insidious
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.
Narges Nahidi, Esmaeel Saemi, Mohammadreza Doustan, Joshua Aronson, and Raphaël Laurin
of individuals, particularly women ( Fredricks & Eccles, 2005 ). Stereotype threat is a social, affective, and cognitive variable that arises when stereotype beliefs held about a certain group and, in connection to a particular area, can undermine performance ( Steele & Aronson, 1995 ) and learning
Sarah B. Williams, Elizabeth A. Taylor, T. Christopher Greenwell, and Brigitte M. Burpo
for Sport Management, 2017 ). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the differences in the experiences of gender microaggressions and stereotype threat by gender in sport management doctoral students. Literature Review Doctoral Programs and the Student Experience Although sport
Priscila Lopes Cardozo and Suzete Chiviacowsky
Several studies have demonstrated the detrimental effects of stereotype threat on the performance of academic and motor skills, while little attention has been given to the effects of stereotypical conditions on motor learning. The objective of the current study was to investigate the effects of overweight stereotype threat on women learning a balance task. Participants practiced 10 trials of a dynamic balance task and their learning was observed in a retention test one day later. Before practice, the stereotype threat (ST) group received instructions introducing the task as influenced by individual differences, whereby overweight people usually present worse outcomes. For the reduced stereotype threat group (RST), instructions informed them that the task was not influenced by individual differences. Participants also filled out a questionnaire measuring intrinsic motivation. The results showed that performance and learning, as well as perceived competence, were enhanced for participants of the RST group compared with participants of the ST group. The findings provide evidence that overweight stereotype threat affects the learning of motor skills.
Aïna Chalabaev, Philippe Sarrazin, Jeff Stone, and François Cury
This research investigated stereotype threat effects on women’s performance in sports and examined the mediation of this effect by achievement goals. The influence of two stereotypes—relative to the poor athletic ability and the poor technical soccer ability of women—were studied. Fifty-one female soccer players were randomly assigned to one of three conditions, introducing the task as diagnostic of athletic ability, technical soccer ability, or sports psychology. Next, they filled out a questionnaire measuring achievement goals and performed a soccer dribbling task. Results showed that compared with the control condition, females’ performance significantly decreased in the athletic ability condition and tended to decrease in the technical soccer ability condition. Moreover, participants endorsed a performance-avoidance (relative to performance-approach) goal when the stereotypes were activated. However, this goal endorsement was not related to performance. The implications of these results for understanding the role of stereotypes in gender inequalities in sports are discussed.
Maxime Deshayes, Corentin Clément-Guillotin, and Raphaël Zory
According to the stereotype threat model ( Steele, 1997 ), people may underperform on a task when thinking about the negative performance expectations for their own group (for a review in the sports field, see Chalabaev, Sarrazin, Fontayne, Boiché, & Clément-Guillotin, 2013 ; Gentile, Boca
Richard F. Jowers and Matthew D. Curtner-Smith
microaggressions? and (c) To what extent was the participant’s life affected by stereotype threat? Theoretical Framework The theoretical lens we employed during the study was eclectic in that we drew constructs and concepts from two perspectives. These were critical race theory ( Delgado, 1995 ; Tate, 1997 ) and