{br} STUCK with your assignment? {br} When is it due? {br} Get FREE assistance. Page Title: {title}{br} Page URL: {url}
UK: +44 748 007-0908, USA: +1 917 810-5386 [email protected]
  1. The standard intellectual and cognitive assessment.    



    Discuss the role that stereotype threat may play in standard intellectual and cognitive assessment.    


Subject Psychology Pages 10 Style APA


Role of Stereotype Threat in Standard Intellectual and Cognitive Assessment


This paper scrutinizes the role of stereotype threat to standard intellectual and cognitive assessments. The preferred methodology for this task is systematic review of literature. Extant reviews associate stereotype threat with a number of adverse outcomes, namely;  (i) Cognitive Underachievement from Increased Psychosomatic Stressors; (ii) Poor output on academic and nonacademic pursuits; (iii) underrepresentation and poor scores on literacy by males in contrast to their female counterparts; (iv) reduced self-esteem and poor scores by girls on STEM disciplines; (v) decline in cognitive capabilities among older research subjects; and (vi) reduced computational capabilities and efficiency of short term memory for both boys and girls.

Key Words: stereotype threat, cognitive capabilities, intellectual




2.1 Cognitive Underachievement from Increased Psychosomatic Stressors  4

2.2 Poor Language Education Outcomes  5

2.3 Impact on Empirical Instruction of 3D Mental Rotation Chronometric Tasks (3DMRTs) 5

2.4 Decline of Cognitive and Intellectual Ability in Older Individuals  6

2.5 Impact on Metacognition  7

2.6 Impact on Self-esteem among Women  8

2.7 Cognitive Exhaustion and Compromised Computational Capabilities  8


References  10


Stereotype threat, as an area of social psychology, has been the subject of heightened research in the past one decade. Social psychologists define stereotype threat as the tendency in victims of adverse stereotyping to act in ways that disapprove the stereotypes (Rogus-Pulia, Humbert, Kolehmainen & Carnes, 2018). A number of studies associate the resultant strain with poor output on academic and nonacademic pursuits. Incidentally, genetic intelligence hypothesizes that victims of stereotype threat could underachieve on “diagnostic tests” due to chronic fear of succumbing to adverse labels (Pennington, Heim, Levy and Larkin, 2016). This paper analyses the role of stereotype threat in standard intellectual and cognitive assessment. Scrutiny of extant literature affirms a positive correlation between stereotype threat and adverse intellectual and assessment outcomes.


2.1 Cognitive Underachievement from Increased Psychosomatic Stressors

Researchers conceptualize that stereotype threat factors, including “anxiety, negative thinking and mind-wandering” tend to exploit “working memory resources” (Pennington, Heim, Levy and Larkin, 2016). Indeed, similar researchers have argued that “stereotype threatened” persons could elicit responses that negate adverse labels, which could adversely impact cognitive output. Nevertheless, recent empirical evidence shows that stereotype threat impacts communities in dissimilar ways. For instance, studies by Pennington, Heim, Levy and Larkin (2016) have established that Black Americans underachieved on oral assessments, particularly the ones designed to measure cognitive capabilities. However, this cohort performs better in “non-diagnostic” tests in comparison to their Caucasian counterparts. Yet, when arbitrated by multi-threat structural tools, the finding theorizes that dissimilar versions of stereotype threat could be impacted differently.

2.2 Poor Language Education Outcomes

A comprehensive analysis by Chaffee, Lou and Noels (2020) has demonstrated that men were more likely to register poor scores in language learning, a possible attribution to their underrepresentation in linguistics. Empirical evidence shows that stereotypical prejudices had adverse impact on academic outcomes and esteem in academic disciplines and assessments under the moderating influence of stereotype threat (Chaffee, Lou & Noels, 2020). For instance, girls were observed to underachieve in science disciplines believing that such subjects were more favorable to their male peers. The same study also involved four investigations and 542 participants on the impact of “explicit stereotype threats on men’s performance in language-related tasks” proved that stereotype threat had insignificant impact on men’s performance in language settings. These findings seem to authenticate the null hypothesis, though further research is recommended.

2.3 Impact on Empirical Instruction of 3D Mental Rotation Chronometric Tasks (3DMRTs)

Another study by Sanchis-Segura et al. (2018) acknowledges prevalent notion that men have enhanced “visuospatial” capabilities. Differences in these capabilities and STEM related cognitive spheres such as engineering and mathematics, are believed to cause limited interest and poor participation of girls in STEM careers. On the other hand, fairly antique evidence from other scholars have shown positive correlations between gender-specific connections and overt views on one hand, and context-specific factors on intellectual outcomes on the other (Sanchis-Segura, 2018). The study provided context to pertinent matters related to the impact of “the situational reactivation of stereotypic gender-science views in the performance of 3D mental rotation chronometric tasks (3DMRT)” (Sanchis-Segura, 2018). More precisely, the study evaluated the unambiguous opinions and hidden relationships via “Implicit Association Tests” administered to both males and females from social sciences and STEM disciplines, and paralleled their outcomes in 3DMRT upon receiving stereotype-related and unrelated empirical instructions. Research findings prove that latent “stereotypic gender science” relate positively with 3DMRT outcomes among men and women. However, gender-specific variances emerge, and are observable under “stereotype-reactivating” conditions (Sanchis-Segura, 2018).

Moreover, the findings demonstrate that self-esteem had an impact on the empirical instructions. Similar findings show that educational attainment arbitrates the instructions, thereby endorsing 3DMRT performance variations in male and female subjects in the humanities; yet, the same trend is not replicated in STEM learners. The foregoing findings dispute popular beliefs that male subjects have greater intellectual rotation capabilities. They also resolve the intrigues surrounding complex-reality, and could potentially stimulate stereotypical response variations in both male and female subjects.

2.4 Decline of Cognitive and Intellectual Ability in Older Individuals

Findings from cross sequential studies by Barber (2017) seem to dispute the prevailing perception of stereotype threat as a “singular construct” impacted by static cross-gender factors in different geographical settings. From a methodical locus, the Shapiro and “Neuberg’s (2007) Multi-Threat Framework” could be used to prove that stereotype threats are a largely restricted problem rather than a “group-reputation threat”. The decline in cognitive ability among older individuals is one such instance. Since this phenomenon vary from other stereotype threats among demographic groups – such as adverse pairing of minority learners with inferior cognitive capabilities – the researchers found that singular constructs do generally apply in “age-based stereotype threat about cognitive decline” (Barber, 2017). Indeed, the evidence calls for one to venture beyond perceived threats to suggest that factors underpinning stereotype threats are mutable over time. Similarly, age-mediated superiority has been observed among older voters, especially in the area of emotional intelligence.  Some have cited this phenomenon as proof that stereotype threat has minimal impact on intellectual abilities. On the whole, the findings underscore the significance of understanding of stereotype threat with a case by case focus as some effects will generally not be the same across groups.

2.5 Impact on Metacognition

Whereas contemporary research has accentuated the significance of metacognitive factors in social engagements, the extent to which “social context might reciprocally impact individuals’ metacognition” is unclear (Gajdos, et. al., 2019). Such a hypothetical proposition has been used as the basis upon which delineation of effects of stereotype threat on metacognition is conducted. To test the hypothesis, the researchers deployed a “visual search task” approach to analyse the conduct and validity of the search processes via a “computational model” to delineate the exactitude “of their metacognition”. The findings suggested that stereotype threat and social contexts improved metacognition (Gajdos, et al., 2019).

2.6 Impact on Self-esteem among Women

Practical instances of implied prejudice have been observed among individuals without their conscious knowledge. For instance, nonparametric reviews have demonstrated that stereotype threat tend to compel individuals to behave in ways that are contrary to stereotypes against them (Pennington, Heim, Levy & Larkin, 2016). These findings parallel another study by (Rogus-Pulia, Humbert, Kolehmainen & Carnes, 2018) which contends that women, rather than men, are more likely to anticipate adverse stereotyping from peers. Similar evidences show that women expect to be rated lower on performance indicators such as excellence in academic and vocational leadership (Rogus-Pulia, Humbert, Kolehmainen & Carnes, 2018).

The same phenomenon is further compounded in women who end up as the only females in male dominated industries. This view is further validated by studies in which randomly selected women are made to participate in mathematics examination in men only settings. The studies show that women registered poor scores in such cognitive tests compared to their counterparts who undertook tests in the presence of other women. Methodical scrutiny of the underlying effects of stereotype threats by Rogus-Pulia, Humbert, Kolehmainen and Carnes (2018) showed that the stated performances are arbitrated by distinctive yet related factors, namely: (i) aggravated biological stress levels that compromise prefrontal functions; (ii) unusual obsession with high performance; and (iii) adaptive responses that trigger the urge to subdue harmful sentiments and sensations. Overally, these factors have been found to affect cognitive and intellectual performance.

2.7 Cognitive Exhaustion and Compromised Computational Capabilities

Bedynska, Krejtz and Sedek (2018) have observed that stereotype threat impacts outcomes in various groups across various disciplines. The study subjected carefully selected data on secondary school age girls to “structural equation modeling” to delineate patterns of prolonged stereotype threat, computational capabilities achievement, and efficiency of short-term memory functions (Bedynska, Krejtz and Sedek, 2018). Specifically, the study focused on impacts of recurrent exposure to stereotype threat on cognitive vulnerability. This view hinges on empirical evidences suggesting that failure to gain from intellectual conscription could give way to “cognitive exhaustion” (Bedynska, Krejtz and Sedek, 2018).  This corroborates recent research which show that extended exposure to stereotype threat could yield unfavourable computational outcomes. Furthermore, recurrent interaction with stereotype threats resulted in reduced efficiency of short-term memory capabilities, which appears to validate the view that compromised short term memory could compound stereotype threats.

3.0 Conclusion

On the whole, findings from reviewed literature have established a connection between elevated stereotype threat and adverse intellectual and assessment outcomes. In particular, the studies found that stereotype threat led to intellectual vulnerability and poor performance of minority groups, especially African Americans in non-diagnostic tests. The studies also proved that the phenomenon disproportionately affected women. Cognitive vulnerability, delineated as a transient state in which the threatened individual succumbs to cognitive exhaustion, leads to poorer academic and cognitive test outcomes (Liu, Zhao, Zhang& Dang, 2017). However, stereotype threat was found to improve metacognition, especially when aided by favourable social contexts.



Barber, S. J. (2017). An examination of age-based stereotype threat about cognitive decline: Implications for stereotype-threat research and theory development. Perspectives on Psychological Science12(1), 62-90.

Bedynska, S., Krejtz, I., & Sedek, G.  (2018). Chronic Stereotype Threat Is Associated With Mathematical Achievement on Representative Sample of Secondary Schoolgirls: The Role of Gender Identification, Working Memory, and Intellectual Helplessness. Front. Psychol. 9:428. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00428

Chaffee, K. E., Lou, N. M., & Noels, K. A. (2020). Does Stereotype Threat Affect Men in Language Domains?. Frontiers in psychology11, 1302.

Gajdos, T., Régner, I., Huguet, P., Hainguerlot, M., Vergnaud, J. C., Sackur, J., & de Gardelle, V. (2019). Does social context impact metacognition? Evidence from stereotype threat in a visual search task. PloS one14(4), e0215050.

Hodge, S. E., Taylor, J., & McAlaney, J. (2020). Is It Still Double Edged? Not for University Students’ Development of Moral Reasoning and Video Game Play. Frontiers in Psychology11, 1313. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01313

Liu, P., Zhao, F., Zhang, B., & Dang, Q. (2017). Small change makes a big splash: The role of working self-concept in the effects of stereotype threat on memory. The Journal of Psychology151(7), 613-631.

Pennington, C.R., Heim, D., Levy, A.R., & Larkin, D.T.  (2016) Twenty Years of Stereotype Threat Research: A Review of Psychological Mediators. PLoS ONE 11(1): e0146487. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0146487

Rogus-Pulia, N., Humbert, I., Kolehmainen, C., & Carnes, M. (2018). How gender stereotypes may limit female faculty advancement in communication sciences and disorders. American journal of speech-language pathology27(4), 1598-1611.PLoS ONE 14(4): e0215050. https://doi.org/ 10.1371/journal.pone.0215050.

Sanchis-Segura, C., Aguirre, N., Cruz-Gómez, Á.J., Solozano, N., and Forn, C. (2018). Do Gender-Related Stereotypes Affect Spatial Performance? Exploring When, How and to Whom Using a Chronometric Two-Choice Mental Rotation Task. Front. Psychol. 9:1261. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01261.

Shapiro, J. R., & Neuberg, S. L. (2007). From stereotype threat to stereotype threats: Implications of a multi-threat framework for causes, moderators, mediators, consequences, and interventions. Personality and Social Psychology Review11(2), 107-130.

Related Samples

WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Our customer support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
👋 Hi, how can I help?