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Stereotypes and Intelligence Essay


“The consequences of the stereotypes are the contributors towards the educational and social inequalities of the various groups that might include the ethnic minorities in the academic based environments and the women regarding the mathematics. There are various adverse outcomes related to the fact e.g. it might limit the domain of the students that they wished to peruse further, they might not value some specific areas of the study and could narrow the options of the career. These facts are related to the intelligence somehow. So, one can say that stereotype has the direct impact on the intelligence. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to provide the overview of the research published and different consequences about the stereotype threat regarding the intelligence.”


Most of the times it happens that someone feels funny and smart while talking to one person perhaps feel hopeless, unintelligent and incoherent in the presence of someone else (Paul). It is not per the imagination; however, there are experiments that have shown that people feel comfortable when they are with the controversial partner and are judged by the observer that are being more amusing with them indeed (Paul). This is the only just one example of the fact about the impact of social factors on the intelligence (Paul). Being a student, teacher or a parent when they get into the school year this work makes the one think that intelligence is not “lump of something that’s in our heads,” but an “a transaction among people” as suggested by the Joshua Aronson the psychologist (Paul). He is an associate professor at the New York University and remained the leader for the investigation of effects of social forces on the academic performance (Paul). He in collaboration with the Claude Steele identified the phenomenon of the “stereotype threat.”

“The study mentioned individual group members to be inferior academically. These members of the panel include Latino and African-American students, including the girls that are enrolled in the college in the courses of math and science (Paul). They scored much lower in the tests when continuously reminded of their race and gender (Paul). Furthermore, in 1990 in the pair’s experiment including the dozens of studies from the other researchers concluded that the performance of the students that are having negative stereotype threats usually suffered because they are much worried about confirming this stereotype in the group (Paul).”

“During 1995 in the article of the journal of personality the research of the professor Steele and Aronson says that black students performed comparably with the white students when they told about the problem-solving task of laboratory (Paul). But the black students scored much lower when they were instructed about the test in such a way that this trial is meant to measure their intellectual ability (Paul). This happened so because the stereotype of the social evaluation has suppressed them regarding their intelligence.”

“Not just the minorities are susceptible to the threat of stereotype but all of us (Paul). When a group of people was examined on its intelligence that was notably confident about its ability of math and engineering and usually scored high did the wrong performance on the math portion of the SAT (Paul). It happened so when they were told that this experiment is to investigate “why Asians appear to outperform other students on tests of math ability (Paul).”

“In another study published in the early years in the Journal of Individual Differences and Learning the students of high school did the worst performance on s test related to spatial skills, when they were told that males perform better in solving the space problems due to having the genetic difference between men and females (Paul). The women were found anxious about the confirmation of assumptions about their sex while the boys were found concerned about living up to it.”

Once the British psychologist namely Liam Hudson wrote

And this holds true where the comparison is much closer—between IQs of, say, 100 and 130. But the relation seems to break down when one is making comparisons between two people both of whom have IQs which are relatively high. A mature scientist with an adult IQ of 130 is as likely to win a Nobel Prize as is one whose IQ is 180.” (Gladwell)

“Here is Hudson is trying to say that IQ much like the height of basketball. If someone has five to six feet height, he has the realistic chances of playing the basketball more professionally? Off course not. You need to be six feet to play along with other things equal (Gladwell). It could be better to be six two in comparison to the six one, and it’s better to be six three compared to six one. But after the certain point, the height doesn’t matter much. A player who is six eight doesn’t make it a better player from the player who is two inches shorter (Gladwell). So, the similar fact holds true for the intelligence. The intelligence keeps the threshold.”

However, it is not just about academic records and playing the stereotype threat is all around us even depicted in our media (Wolska). From one of the earliest significant studies that investigated the gender stereotype in the advertisements includes the study of McArthur and Resko in. They analyzed the adverts of American television (Wolska). A coding scheme was defined that is used to rate the central characters presented in the advertisements (Wolska). This coding is for the overall stereotyping of the gender consisting of “sex, basis for credibility (as an expert or consumer), role (narrator or featured character), location (domestic or work settings), arguments for the product (factual or non-factual), rewards for using the product, consequences of not using the product and the type of product advertised (Wolska).” The similar method was found replicating in over 50 subsequent studies that concerned the gender stereotypes in the advertisement and found very objective and reliable when compared with the obtained results.

“Studies have found the content analytic categories meaningful and bright enough to be used in different countries. Moreover, all studies have reported the satisfactory reliability of coding when more than one training coder has considered how to rate each of the advertisements.””

“ ’Women tended to be used to advertise home and body products while services, technological and automotive products were primarily advertised by men (Wolska). One surprising finding was that of Tan, Ling, and Cheng as Singaporean advertisements favored women for phone and computer commercials in comparison while its South-east Asian neighbor, Malaysia, used men in most the telecommunications business.””


“If the threat of social exclusion can decrease the expression of intelligence, so can a perceived threat to physical safety. It’s common to blame disadvantaged children’s poor academic performance in their environment. By this, we usually mean longstanding characteristics of their homes and neighborhoods (Paul). But research on the social aspects of intelligence suggests that much more immediate aspects of kids’ surroundings can also affect their I.Q.’s.”

“The evolving literature on stereotype threat shows that performance is always social in nature (Paul). Even alone in an exam room, we hear a chorus of voices appraising, evaluating, passing judgment. And as social creatures, humans are strongly affected by what these voices say.”

“This research has important implications for the way we educate our children. For one thing, we should replace high-stakes, one-shot tests with the unobtrusive and ongoing assessments that give teachers and parents a more accurate sense of children’s actual abilities (Paul). We should also put in place techniques for reducing anxiety and building self-confidence that take advantage of our social natures. And we should ensure that the social climate at our children’s schools is one of warmth and trust, not competition and exclusion.”

“Not only is intelligence not fixed, but neither are any number of abilities that we may think we either have or don’t have, be they as straightforward-seeming as math skills or as complex as musicality. The main aim of mass media is to be universal and suitable for everyone, to gather the largest possible audience (Paul). Thus, television, responsible for providing the central social discourse, is supposed to be a mirror of the society (Paul). However, because of a stereotypical way of explaining the reality, some groups are underrepresented or ignored, and therefore the community image is incomplete. For instance, the way in which male and female roles are presented in commercials reflects the traditional notions of gender, where women are dominated by men (Paul). Although people are aware of the dangers posed by generalization, they tend to be conformists and would rather submit to the dominant patterns than oppose them and risk a negative reception of such behavior from the others.”

Work cited

Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers. 1st ed. Toronto: ExecuGo media, 2008. Print.

Paul, Annie. “Opinion | Intelligence and The Stereotype Threat.” N.p., 2017. Web.

7 June 2017.

Wolska, Malgorzata. “Gender Stereotypes in Mass Media. Case Study: Analysis of The Gender

Stereotyping Phenomenon in TV Commercials. | Krytyka.Org – Nauka, Polityka, Kultura,

Społeczeństwo”. N.p., 2017. Web. 7 June 2017.



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