Chronic Stereotype Threat Is Associated With Mathematical Achievement on Representative Sample of Secondary Schoolgirls: The Role of Gender Identification, Working Memory, and Intellectual Helplessness

Sylwia Bedyńska , Izabela Krejtz , Grzegorz Sędek


Stereotype threat affects performance in many different groups across many different domains. Despite a large body of experimental research on situational stereotype threat, little attention has been paid to the consequences of repeated experience of stereotype threat. Using structural equation modeling on data from a representative sample of girls from secondary schools, the current research examined the relations of chronic stereotype threat with mathematical achievement, and effectiveness of working memory functions. Moving beyond past theory, this study examined a new mechanism by which chronic stereotype threat decreases school achievement - namely intellectual helplessness. We assumed that repeated experience of stereotype threat works as intellectual helplessness training. After the phase of cognitive mobilization, cognitive exhaustion appears, because the individual has no gain from intense cognitive effort. Corroborating previous research on acute stereotype threat, we demonstrated that chronic stereotype threat is negatively associated with mathematical achievement. Additionally, it was also associated with lower effectiveness of working memory functions, which seems to show depletion of working memory as an effect of chronic stereotype threat. The results also demonstrated that both mediational paths from chronic stereotype threat to mathematical achievement: through working memory depletion and through intellectual helplessness were significant but only for girls that highly identified with their gender group. In sum, we extended a well-established model of acute stereotype threat to its chronic version and suggested a new mechanism of chronic stereotype threat, which involves intellectual helplessness. Implications for stereotype threat theory and educational practice are discussed.
Author Sylwia Bedyńska (Wydział Psychologii)
Sylwia Bedyńska,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Izabela Krejtz (Wydział Psychologii)
Izabela Krejtz,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Grzegorz Sędek (Wydział Psychologii)
Grzegorz Sędek,,
- Wydział Psychologii
Journal seriesFrontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, (A 35 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishstereotype threat, mathematical achievement, working memory, intellectual helplessness, group identitiy
ASJC Classification3200 General Psychology
Languageen angielski
fpsyg-09-00428.pdf 397.56 KB
Additional file
oswiadczenie_publikacja.pdf 522.1 KB
Oświadczenie_publ_Frontiers in Psychology_2018_GSedek.pdf 179.68 KB
oswiadczenie publikacje do premii-IK.pdf 317.75 KB
Score (nominal)35
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.006; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.089 (2) - 2017=2.749 (5)
Citation count*9 (2021-01-21)
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