Stereotype threat is when someone finds themselves in a situation where they feel they might confirm a negative stereotype about their group (Steele & Aronson, 1995). One method of combating the negative effects of stereotype threat has been through the intervention known as self-affirmation. Self -affirmation is an indirect psychological adaptation, which allows restoration of self-integrity through reflection on important personal values unrelated to the threat (Steele & Liu, 1983). This current study tests two methods of self-affirmation as an intervention to stereotype threat in both boys and girls. Forty-one children between the ages of 10-11 years old were tested at Edgewood Middle School in Wooster, Ohio. Two methods of self- affirmation were tested, a previously established personal values writing exercise and a novel drawing method of affirming personal values. Across all conditions stereotype threat was activated through implicit gender identity questions (adapted from Ambady et al., 2001). The main hypothesis was that girls in both affirmation conditions would score higher on the math exam as compared to girls in the control writing condition: stereotype threat in girls who had self-affirmed, through either writing or drawing, would perform better than girls who did not self-affirm. The results did not support this hypothesis, but stereotype awareness was significant across all conditions, girls performed better than boys on the math exam when stereotype aware.


Stuart, Jillian




Developmental Psychology | Early Childhood Education | Psychology | Social Psychology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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