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Shifting Standards in the evaluation of negatively stereotyped groups

"Not bad for a girl..."? In experimental studies, we have been able to show that negative stereotypes about the mathematical abilities of girls or the reading skills of Turkish students either become evident or are "masked" depending on situational features.

We examined the effect of stereotypes in assessing the performance of learners from negatively stereotyped groups based on Biernat's Shifting Standards Theory. This theory assumes that different standards are applied when assessing members of different social groups (e.g., girls versus boys or children with and without an immigrant background), and that their use depends on multiple factors, including contextual characteristics. In our experiments, we were able to show via evidence of a change in the assessment standard that negative stereotypes exist with respect to girls' mathematics performance and Turkish children's reading performance (Holder & Kessels, 2017).

Selected publications:

Nishen, A.K., Corcoran, K., Holder, K. & Kessels, U. (2022). When ethnic minority students are judged as more suitable for the highest school track: A shifting standards experiment. European Journal of Psychology of Education. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10212-021-00595-5

Holder, K. & Kessels, U. (2017). Gender and ethnic stereotypes in student teachers’ judgments: A new look from a shifting standards’ perspective. Social Psychology of Education, 29(3), 471-490. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-017-9384-z