How They See Us

Stereotypes are all around us, shaping how we see the world – and how the world sees us. On the surface, the stereotypes that other people hold shouldn’t affect the way we think or act. But our concerns about other people’s perceptions have a way of burrowing deep into our minds. This week, social psychologist Claude Steele explains the psychology of “stereotype threat.”

Additional Resources

Steele, C.M. Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do, 2021.

Steele, C. M. Thin ice: “Stereotype threat” and black college studentsThe Atlantic Monthly, 284(2), 44-47, 50-54, 1999, August. 

Steele, Claude M., Aronson, Joshua. “Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African Americans..Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 69(5): 797-811, 1995. 


Steele, C. M. A threat in the air: How stereotypes shape intellectual identity and performance. American Psychologist, 52(6), 613–629, 1997. 


Spencer, S. J., Steele, C. M., & Quinn, D. M. Stereotype threat and women’s math performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 35, 4-28, 1999. 


Steele CM, Spencer SJ, Aronson J. Contending with group image: the psychology of stereotype and social identity threat. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. 34. pp. 379–440, 2002. 


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