The stereotype threat room

Posted: September 15, 2010 by Jender in Maleness of philosophy
People from groups that are stereotyped as not good at something often suffer from Stereotype Threat (see Steele, Whistling Vivaldi).  This happened to me recently.  I was giving a talk I’d presented several times before, very successfully.  But this time everyone in the room when I walked in was male (two women arrived eventually), and the walls were covered with pictures of male philosophers.  (Apparently there was a woman, but she was behind me.)  I found myself stumbling over words and feeling that my arguments were weak and my answers to questions were feeble.  I knew enough about stereotype threat to know that was what I was encountering, but this knowledge didn’t help.

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