Assignment Stereotype Threat or Stereotype Lift

Post a brief summary of the article and explain how stereotype threat or stereotype lift might have influenced your own academic performance in school. Explain how the social learning theory or cognitive relation relates to the stereotype threat or lift you described.

The article is attached below:

A Threat in the Classroom Gender Stereotype Activation and Mental-Rotation Performance in Elementary-School Children

Abstract. Females’ performance in a gender-stereotyped domain is impaired when negative gender stereotypes are activated (Nguyen & Ryan, 2008). ‘‘Stereotype threat’’ affects the gender difference in adults’ mental-rotation performance (e.g., Moè & Pazzaglia, 2006). Our study investigated this effect in fourth graders. Two hundred sixteen males and females solved two mental-rotation tests. In between, a gender difference instruction was given (‘‘boys better,’’ ‘‘girls better,’’ ‘‘no gender difference’’).

A significant interaction of time and gender was found in the ‘‘girls better’’-condition and in the ‘‘no gender difference’’-condition: As expected, the male performance advantage disappeared after these two instructions, because girls improved and boys deteriorated. Thus, the study suggests that the gender effect in mental rotation is affected by stereotype threat and stereotype lift from the very beginning of its occurrence. Results are discussed within a biopsychosocial framework and seem to play an important role with regard to the ‘‘hidden curriculum’’ in schools.

Keywords: stereotype threat, gender differences, elementary-school children, mental rotation

Mental rotation, a subcomponent of visual-spatial abilities, refers to the rotation of two or three-dimensional objects in mind (Shepard & Metzler, 1971). The male advantage in adults’ mental-rotation performance is well documented (Maccoby & Jacklin, 1974; Masters & Sanders, 1993; McGee, 1979; Linn & Petersen, 1985) and, with an effect size of about one standard deviation, one of the largest cognitive gender differences (Halpern, 2000).

Contrary to other gender differences, it has not declined during the past decades (Voyeur, & Bryden, 1995), which suggests that it might be caused by hereditary, biological factors. This assumption is supported by findings of gender differences in mental rotation at very young ages (e.g., Levine, Huttenlocher, Taylor, & Langrock, 1999; Quinn & Liben, 2008) and by links between spatial performance on the one hand, and specific genes (Bock & Kolakowski, 1973; Pezaris & Casey, 1991) and sex hormone levels on the other hand (e.g., Grimshaw, Sitarenios, & Finegan, 1995; Hausmann, Slabbekorn, Van Goosen, Cohen-Kettenis, & Güntürkün, 2000).

However, there are also findings that do not support pure biological theories of the gender difference in mental rotation. First, several studies could not show a clear relationship between mental-rotation skills and endogenous levels of sex hormones (e.g., Halari et al., 2005; Hines et al., 2003; Rahman, Wilson, & Abrahams, 2004).

Second, social-psychological variables have been demonstrated to influence mental-rotation performance, for example, gender role identity (McGlone & Aronson,

2006; Ortner & Siever- ding, 2008; Saucier, McCreary, & Saxberg, 2002), stereo- types (Moè, 2009; Moè & Pazzaglia, 2006), causal attribution (Moè, 2012; Moè & Pazzaglia, 2010), and confidence (Estes & Felker, 2011). 

Thus, a biopsychosocial framework‘ ‘based on the continuous interplay of biological and psychological variables’’ (Halpern, Wai, & Saw, 2005, p. 68) seems to be the most appropriate model for under- standing the gender effect in mental rotation.

For understanding the dynamic, interactive processes leading to the gender difference in adults’ mental rotation, it seems useful to investigate differences in males’ and females’ performance in various ages. Recent studies suggest that the gender difference emerges before adolescence (e.g., Geiser, Lehmann, & Eid, 2008), probably at about 10 years (Neuburger, Jansen, Heil, & Quaiser-Pohl, 2011; Titze, Jansen, & Heil, 2010). This can be explained on the basis of prepubertal hormonal changes (Archibald, Graber & Brooks-Gunn, 2006; Reiter & Grumbach, 1982) as well as by sociocultural processes.

In middle and late childhood, stereotype consciousness increases (McKown & Weinstein, 2003), accompanied by major steps in the development of self-concepts of ability (Damon & Hart, 1988; Marsh, Barnes, Cairns, & Tidman, 1984; Ruble, 1987) and gender role identity (Ruble &Martin, 1998). Therefore, fourth graders are more likely to be aware of gender stereotypes regarding spatial abilities than younger elementary-school children, and they probably already have internalized these stereotypes.

In contrast to mathematics (e.g., Cvencek, Meltzoff, & Greenwald, 2011; Steele, 2003; Wigfield et al., 1997), stereotypes of spatial performance have rarely been investigated in children. In adults, Blanton, Christie, and Dye 2012 Hogrefe Publishing Zeitschrift für Psychologie 2012; Vol. 220(2):61–69 DOI:10.1027/2151-2604/a000097