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I Don't Belong Here: Stereotype Threat and its Impact

Written by: Alyssa Gibson
Published on: Jul 1, 2019

What is stereotype threat? The feeling that you don’t belong.

A preconceived notion that disrupts the mind when entering a place where comfort is diminished; the threat, the disturbance, to one’s peace when put in a position where one is expected to fail.

In order to delve further, we first must look at stereotypes. A stereotype is a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment. When one is placed in any situation where they can potentially confirm a stereotype is true about their group, they are under threat.

Stereotype threat “refers to being at risk of confirming, as a self-characteristic, a negative stereotype about one's social group” (Steele & Aronson, 1995).

Not only does it affect our mental capacities, but it works its way into our cognitive performance.

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