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The Nurture of Intelligence

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The Nurture of Intelligence Powered By Docstoc
					    Low Numbers:
  Stereotype Threat
and the Performance of
Women and Minorities

       Joshua Aronson
      New York University
       The Minority-White Gap
                   Prison:
   Blacks and Latinos vastly overrepresented
                      College
Blacks 1/2 as likely to go; 2x as likely to drop out
                High School:
    50% drop out rate; 2-4 year reading gap
                    K-12
   Lower standardized test scores and grades
                Birth-Preschool
         Nearly equal ability test scores
  Under-Performance of Women In
         Math & Science
  While outperforming men in all other areas of academia,
  women earn less than 25% of the degrees in Computer
            Science, Physics, and Engineering
  College: women perform worse on standardized tests of
 mathematics but do well in their courses; far fewer choose
               math/ hard science majors

 Middle School: Girls earn equally high grades but begin to
    lose confidence in math abilities; test score gap on
                standadized tests emerges
  K-12: Girls Perform at or above the same level as boys on
tests and in school; show less intrinsic interest in spatial tasks
Common Explanations for
Group Differences
1. Lower innate intelligence
      --The Bell Curve

      --Biological differences in math ability

2. Poverty (lower skills and preparation)

3. Subculture that discourages academic success

      “Acting White” “Acting Male”

Larger Culture of Anti-intellectualism
Larger Culture of Anti-
    Intellectualism
      Larger Culture of Anti-
          Intellectualism
Recent polls indicate that 1 in 5 Americans:

• Believes that the Sun revolves around Earth

• Can’t locate the U.S. on a World Map

• Does NOT believe the Government is hiding
  evidence of space Aliens!
       Larger Culture of Anti-
           Intellectualism
• Recent polls
  indicate that a 5th of
  Americans can’t
  locate the U.S. on a
  World Map.

• Why do you think
  this is?
All of the traditional explanations fall
 short of explaining the gap, even
 when combined; something else
 must be involved…
         Part One:
  Intelligence is Fragile



Operational Definition: Intelligence = IQ
Scores, Performance in School, Verbal
             Fluency, etc.
“Human intelligence is among the most
fragile things in nature. It doesn’t take
much to distract it, suppress it, or even
annihilate it.”

                   --Neil Postman
The Fragility of Intelligence
 Some social factors:

• Interpersonal Intimidation (being smarter,
  funnier, etc with some people)

• Threatened Belongingness (Baumeister,
  2002)

• Stereotype Threat/ Identity threat (Steele &
  Aronson, 1995)
Identity Threat

Apprehension arising from the awareness of a
 negative stereotype or personal reputation
 in a situation where the stereotype or identity
 is relevant, and thus confirmable

  – everyone experiences this in some form
Examples of Identity Threat

• Jewish person in the Bible Belt

• African American Taking an IQ test

• Woman called upon in math class
Stereotype Threat : No Explicit Bigotry Required
Stereotype Threat
Anecdotal Evidence


“When I talk in class, I feel as though I‟m totally on
stage, like everyone‟s thinking, „oh what‟s the Black
girl going to say?‟ But I don‟t speak up in class much
anymore, so I guess it‟s not a big deal.”
                 —Stanford Undergraduate
Stereotype Threat
Anecdotal Evidence


“Group work was a nightmare. I could tell that no one
thought my ideas were any good because I‟m Latina.”
                 —NYU Undergraduate
Stereotype Threat
Anecdotal Evidence


“Everyone expects me to be good at math because I‟m
Asian, so I feel extra stupid because I‟m not so good at
math.”
                  —NYU Undergrad
“Conditional Stupidity”
 Conditional Stupidity:
The Two Faces of Bush


                                        d
                         Quic kT ime™ an a
                        c
             T IF F (Un ompres sed) decompre s os r
                 are ne   d        e
                       ede to s e this pic ture.
              Smart Bush
     1994 Debate with Anne Richards




“…This Bush was eloquent. He spoke quickly and easily. He rattled off
complicated sentences and brought them to the right grammatical conclusions.
He mishandled a word or two ("million" when he clearly meant "billion";
"stole" when he meant "sold"), but fewer than most people would in an hour's
debate. More striking, he did not pause before forcing out big words, as he so
often does now, or invent mangled new ones. " (James Fallows, 2004).
Dumb Bush 2004
  “They misunderestimated me”
               --G.W. Bush, Nov 6, 2000




                                              d
                              Quic kT ime™ an a
                             c
                 T IF F ( U n ompr                    s
                                   es sed) decompr e s or
                       e
                     ar ne     d        e
                            ede to s e this pic tur e.




             Estimate Bush‟s SAT Score
Average estimate = 1030 Bush‟s Actual Score = 1330
Laboratory Experiment on Stereotype Threat

 Steele & Aronson (1995). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.



 • Method: Reducing Evaluative Scrutiny

 • Measure: Blacks’ and Whites’ Verbal GRE Performance
                                 Verbal Test Performance


                    15




                    13


                                        whites
                    11
# of items solved




                     9




                     7




                     5      blacks


                     3




                     1

                         "Measuring Your Ability"   "Not Measuring Your Ability"
                                 Verbal Test Performance


                    15




                    13


                                        whites
                    11                                                 whites
# of items solved




                     9
                                                         blacks

                     7




                     5      blacks


                     3




                     1

                         "Measuring Your Ability"   "Not Measuring Your Ability"
                                 Verbal Test Performance
                                    Corrected for SAT


                    10
                    9
                                     whites       blacks   whites
                    8
# of items solved




                    7
                    6
                    5       blacks

                    4
                    3
                    2
                    1
                         STEREOTYPE THREAT    NO STEREOTYPE THREAT
Laboratory Experiment on Stereotype Threat


                   Steele & Aronson (1995)



Method: Inducing the Relevance of Race

Measure: Blacks’ and Whites’ Verbal GRE Performance
                         Verbal Test Performance

                    10
                    9
                                                         blacks
                                       whites                     whites
                    8
# of items solved




                    7
                    6
                    5
                              blacks
                    4
                    3
                    2
                    1
                         Asked to Indicate Race   Not Asked to Indicate Race
                         Math Test Performance
                       Of College Men and Women
                                      (Spencer, Steele & Quinn, 1999)




                                  men
       21
# of items solved




       16




       11

                    women

               6




               1

                            Control                "No Gender Differences"
                         Math Test Performance
                       Of College Men and Women
                                      (Spencer, Steele & Quinn, 1999)




                                  men
       21

                                                                  men
                                                     women
# of items solved




       16




       11

                    women

               6




               1

                            Control                "No Gender Differences"
  Additional Studies Finding Performance Effects




• Latinos taking verbal tests
• Elderly taking short-term memory tests
• Low SES Students taking verbal tests
• Blacks and Miniature Golf
• Women taking tests of Political Knowledge, Driving, Chess
• White males taking tests of social sensitivity
• White Males Taking Math Tests
                     When White Men Can’t Do Math
                    Aronson, et al., (1999). Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.



               12
               11
               10
                9
Items Solved




                8
                7
                6
                5
                4
                3
                2
                1
                     Test of Your Math Ability   Test of Your Math Ability
                                                    Relative to Asians
                     When White Men Can’t Do Math
                    Aronson, et al., (1999). Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.


               12
               11
               10                                 d = .93
                9
Items Solved




                8
                7
                6
                5
                4
                3
                2
                1
                     Test of Your Math Ability   Test of Your Math Ability Relative
                                                             to Asians
Educational Testing Service
        Field Study:

Asking About Gender before or
   After Before Taking AP
                                 ETS Field Study:
                        Asking Gender Before Taking AP
                            Calculus Test Hurts Girls
                   17




                   16
AP Formula Score




                   15
                                                             Female
                   14                                        Male

                   13




                   12




                   11




                           Inquiry Before    Inquiry After

(Stricker, 2002). Journal of Applied Social Psychology.
                   Educational Testing Service Study:
        Asking Gender Before AP Calculus Test
                Hurts Girls, Helps Boys
                   17

                   16
AP Formula Score




                   15
                                                         Female
                   14
                                                         Male
                   13

                   12

                   11
                        Inquiry Before   Inquiry After
  Danaher and Crandall (2008)
    Reanalysis of ETS Study
“Women benefited substantially on the
  calculus test when demographics were
  asked after testing rather than before. This
  simple, small, and inexpensive change
  could increase U.S. women receiving AP
  Calculus AB credit by more than 4,300
  every year.”
Field Experiment: Women in the
        Science Pipeline

     Highest Level Calculus Students
Field Study: Women in the Science Pipeline

                           Highest Level College Calculus Students

                            5
                          4.5
  Calculus items solved




                            4
                          3.5
                            3
                                                                              Female
                          2.5
                                                                              Male
                            2
                          1.5
                            1
                          0.5
                            0
                                  CONTROL         "NO GENDER
                                                 DIFFERENCES"

  Good, Aronson, & Harder (in press) Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Field Study: Women in the Science Pipeline

  Advanced Level Women Outperform Advanced
     Men in Calculus When Threat Reduced
                               5

                             4.5

                               4

                             3.5
   Ca lculus items so lved




                               3
                                                                                            Fe mal e
                             2.5
                                                                                            Mal e

                               2

                             1.5

                               1

                             0.5

                               0


                                   CONTROL             "NO GENDER DIFFERENCES"


               Good, Aronson, & Harder (2008) Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
General Conclusions from 300 Studies
  • One need not believe the stereotype is true to feel the pressure
    to disprove it, but believing appears to increase ST

  • ST can affect even those students with lots of ability and lots of
    confidence in their abilities, from any group, in any setting


  • Stereotype threat can arise as a function of grouping alone,
    integrated groups trigger it.

  • Under performance mediated by stress and anxiety, reduced
    working memory capacity, and reduced self-regulation capacity.


  • Stereotype threat influences GPA as well as immediate
    performance; Massey & Fischer found 9% of GPA gap
Stereotype Vulnerability:
Risk Factors for Underperformance

  – Acceptance of the stereotype as maybe true
  – Expectations of prejudice
  – Belief that tests are biased against minorities;
   mistrust
  – High levels of academic engagement--Caring
  Chronic Stereotype
Vulnerability Can lead to
     Lower Ability
  From Vulnerability to Inability


"No circle is more vicious than the one
  having to do with intelligence. Children
  who may be only a little behind their peers
  to begin with tend to avoid those things
  that could have made them a little smarter.
  As a result they fall further and further
  behind. Meanwhile the kids who started
  out a little ahead are doing push-ups with
  their brains.”
                        Judith Rich Harris
       Chronic Stereotype
     Vulnerability Can lead to
          Lower Ability
•Avoidance of Challenge/practice
•Academic Self-concept/Ambiguity
•Disidentification/Disengagement
•Lower Ability
                                 Challenge Avoidance

                             7
                                      Stereotype Threat
                                      No Stereotype Threat
                             6
Desired Problem Difficulty




                             5

                             4

                             3

                             2

                             1
                                   Latino                    White
Stereotype Vulnerability and Academic Self-
Concept Instability
Aronson & Inzlicht (2004). Psychological Science.




           Students who are vulnerable to stereotype threat often
                 fluctuate greatly in their Academic self-confidence.
Academic efficacy over time for typical high
       or low SV college student
                                       Aronson & Inzlicht (2004). Psychological Science.


                      6
                                                                                           Hi SV
                                                                                           Low SV
                      4
  Academic Efficacy




                      2


                      0
                           1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10 11 12 13 14 15 16

                      -2


                      -4


                      -6
                                                       Time
     Disidentification Among College Students
                    Stanford University Survey:
 “Considering all the things that matter to you, how much do you
                     care about academics?”


                                 7


                                              Whites
                                 6
       ratings adjusted by SAT




                                 5


                                 4
                                     Blacks


                                 3


                                 2


                                 1



Aronson, Fried & Good (2002). Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
  Part Two:

Reducing Threat
Mindset Matters
Biological Differences in Spatial Ability

• Largest sex differences: Spatial Ability
• May account for most of the math test score
  gap
• Testosterone?
   Vandenberg Mental Rotation
             Task




A meta-analysis containing 286 data sets and 100,000
subjects found a highly significant male advantage for mental
rotation; this pattern remains stable across age and has not
decreased in recent years.
                  Identity Salience Influences Women’s
             25       Mental Rotation Performance      WOMEN

                                                                                   MEN

             20
 VMR SCORE




             15



             10



              5

                     GENDER              ELITE COLLEGE                   CONTROL
                                            STUDENT


McGlone & Aronson (2006). Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.
                   Identity Salience Influences Women’s
                       Mental Rotation Performance
              25                                                                   WOMEN

                                                                                   MEN

              20
  VMR SCORE




              15



              10



               5

                      GENDER              ELITE COLLEGE                  CONTROL
                                             STUDENT

McGlone & Aronson (2006). Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.
                 Identity Salience Influences Mental
                        Rotation Performance
            25                                          WOMEN

                                                        MEN

            20
VMR SCORE




            15



            10



             5

                   GENDER     ELITE COLLEGE   CONTROL
                                 STUDENT
      Reducing Stereotype Threat:
  The role of conceptions of intelligence



“The mind is much more like a muscle than
  we’ve ever realized… it needs to get
  cognitive exercise. It’s not some piece of clay
  on which you put an indelible mark.”

                       James Flynn, intelligence expert, 2007
Experiment
  Aronson (in preparation)


                                 Question:
 What if you were led to believe ability is malleable? Would it
  reduce effects of stereotype threat?

 Method: Framing test as a measure of a fixed or a malleable ability

 Measure: Blacks’ and Whites’ Test Performance
                     Conceptions of Ability and Test
                             Performance
                    11
                    10
                    9
                    8
# of items solved




                    7
                    6
                    5
                    4
                    3
                    2
                    1
                         Non-improvable   Like SAT Verbal Improvable Skill
                             Ability
                     Conceptions of Ability and Test
                             Performance
                    11
                    10
                    9
                    8
# of items solved




                    7
                    6
                    5
                    4
                    3
                    2
                    1
                         Non-improvable   Like SAT Verbal Improvable Skill
                             Ability
                     Conceptions of Ability and Test
                             Performance

                    11
                    10
                     9          African Americans   Whites
# of items solved




                     8
                     7
                     6
                     5
                     4
                     3
                     2
                     1
                            "Non-      "Like SAT    "Improvable
                         improvable      Verbal"       Skill"
                           Ability"     (control)
Reducing the effects of Stereotype Threat In
the real world: Shaping implicit theories

 Question: Can getting people to believe in expandable
   intelligence reduce effects of stereotype threat on GPA?


 • Method: Attitude change
 • Measure: End of year GPA
                 Year End Follow-Up:

                              GPA




Aronson, Fried & Good (2002). Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Reducing Stereotype Threat in
Middle School: A field Intervention
 Question: Can psychological intervention raise test scores of minority
   students?


 • Method: mentoring study; attitude change
 • Conditions:
     – Malleability of intelligence
     – Role Models: senior students who stress the normality of early difficulty
     – Control (drug abuse message)
 • Measure: Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS)
                           7th Grade Reading TAAS--Latinos
                           Good, Aronson & Inzlicht (2003) Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.



                     100
READING TAAS SCORE




                      90




                      80
                             Malleability              Role Model                    Control
                            Intervention
                          7th Grade Girls’ Math TAAS
                    100
                                                                               GIRLS

                                                                               BOYS
  Math TAAS SCORE




                     90




                     80




                     70
                           Malleability          Role Model                      Control
                          Intervention

Good, Aronson & Inzlicht (2003) Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.
    Reducing Stereotype Threat:
      The role of awareness



                         Question:
Can understanding Stereotype threat reduce
 its effects?

Method: Forewarning about ST or Test Anxiety

Measure: Blacks’ Test Performance a week later
                   African American’s GRE
                         Performance
        16                                       Stereotype threat

                                                 No stereotype threat
SCORE




         8

             Forewarning-ST   Forewarning-Test            Control
                                  Anxiety
Reducing Effects of Stereotype
Threat: Strategies
 • De-emphasize ability; emphasize effort, persistence

 • Stress the malleability of intelligence

 • Exposure to Role Models

 • Awareness of the external difficulties: Normlizing struggle

 • Groupwork that employs interdependence
                Conclusion

Human intelligence, motivation, and academic self-
concept is more fragile and malleable than
traditionally thought. People’s performance and
motivation can rise and fall depending on the
situations and relationships they are in, and the
mindsets they adopt.
    Thank You!

Joshua.aronson@nyu.edu
"By nature emplanted, for nurture
           to enlarge"

            Richard Mulcaster, 1581
   First Headmaster of Merchant Taylors' School in London
               Message of this Research


• Educators have a good deal of power to shape the threat level
  of the environment; they can stress the fact that serious
  intellectual work can be difficult but that intellectual growth
  occurs with engagement and effort; that people gain
  competence. This is often not apparent to students.

• Further studies show that when people perceive an environment
  where people believe this, an otherwise threatening
  environment becomes less so, students report more belonging,
  and this mediates higher grades and engagement.

				
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