Using a 2 × 2 factorial design, we examined the effects of stereotype threat and autonomy support on the test performance of 190 African American college students. Participants completed a set of 7 easy and 7 difficult problems from Raven’s Progressive Matrices and a survey including measures of Academic Self-Concept, Learning Climate, and Perceptions of Stereotype Threat. ANOVA results revealed that among African American men, those who had a stronger academic identification performed worse than those with a weaker identification; however, the reverse was true among African American women, as those who had stronger academic identification performed better than those with a weaker identification. Finally, both stereotype threat and autonomy support improved test performance for all participants (on easy items), except when women received both conditions. Our results indicate that the deleterious effect of stereotype threat is not consistent, and that performance may be boosted by providing greater autonomy support and strengthening academic identification (especially for female African American students).


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pp. 667-679
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