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Stereotypes, beliefs about certain groups of people, exist in societies. Individuals of stereotyped groups worry about conforming to a stereotype and subsequently perform negatively when a stereotype is salient (i.e., stereotype threat; Steele & Aronson, 1995). Negative stereotypes about academic performance in athletes exist (Simons, Bosworth, Fujita, & Jensen, 2007) and lead to negative performance (Dee, 2014). The current research study will examine the impact of stereotype threat on academic performance in student-athletes. Two aims of this research are: 1) replicate Dee (2014) in students at a small, liberal arts college and 2) examine perceptions of how student-athletes are treated in an academic setting.

We hypothesize that athletes will perform worse after thinking about their athletic (vs. student) identity. We also predict the effect of identity to interact with gender, with males (vs. females) being more affected by the athletic identity prime. Additionally, we predict the effect of identity prime on performance to be moderated by identity strength, such that athletes who identify more (vs. less) strongly as an athlete will underperform. We will conduct an experiment with one independent variable: identity prime (athletic vs. student). After informed consent, athletes and non-athlete students will be randomly assigned to one identity condition. Then, they will receive 10 SAT/GRE math questions to complete within 5 minutes. The dependent variable is the number of questions they attempt and get correct. Next, participants will complete a word completion task (a manipulation check of the independent variable) and questions regarding student-athlete perceptions. Lastly, participants will complete demographic and student-based questions and will be debriefed. The study is currently under review with YHC’s IRB. Data collection and analyses will be completed by the conference. Results have the potential to inform individuals about negative stereotypes and to reduce the impact of stereotype threat on student-athletes.


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  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3110

  • Event date
    • 3 November 2018

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022