Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us

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Overview

Acclaimed social psychologist Claude Steele offers an insider’s look at his groundbreaking findings on stereotypes and identity.

Through dramatic personal stories, Claude Steele shares the experiments and studies that show, again and again, that exposing subjects to stereotypes—merely reminding a group of female math majors about to take a math test, for example, that women are considered naturally inferior to men at math—impairs their performance in the area affected by the stereotype. Steele’s conclusions shed new light on a host of American social phenomena, from the racial and gender gaps in standardized test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men. Steele explicates the dilemmas that arise in every American’s life around issues of identity, from the white student whose grades drop steadily in his African American Studies class to the female engineering students deciding whether or not to attend predominantly male professional conferences. Whistling Vivaldi offers insight into how we form our senses of identity and ultimately lays out a plan for mitigating the negative effects of “stereotype threat” and reshaping American identities.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393062496
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/12/2010
  • Series: Issues of Our Time Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Claude Steele is the provost of Columbia University. He is the author of numerous published articles and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Education, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 An Introduction: At the Root of Identity 1

Ch. 2 A Mysterious Link Between Identity and Intellectual Performance 16

Ch. 3 Stereotype Threat Comes to Light, and in More than One Group 44

Ch. 4 A Broader View of Identity: In the Lives of Anatole Broyard, Amin Maalouf, and the Rest of Us 63

Ch. 5 The Many Experiences of Stereotype Threat 85

Ch. 6 Identity Threat and the Efforting Life 99

Ch. 7 The Mind on Stereotype Threat: Racing and Overloaded 114

Ch. 8 The Strength of Stereotype Threat: The Role of Cues 134

Ch. 9 Reducing Identity and Stereotype Threat: A New Hope 152

Ch. 10 The Distance Between Us: The Role of Identity Threat 191

Ch. 11 Conclusion: Identity as a Bridge Between Us 211

References 220

Index 231

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