Date of Award
M.A. in Psychology
Rebekah E. Smith
Rebekah E. Smith
Carrie V. Smith
Stereotype threat causes individuals to perform worse on tasks when they are made aware of a task-relevant negative stereotype for a group to which they belong. Prior research has demonstrated that this effect has been alleviated by using a number of methods including changing test context or bolstering the stereotyped group. One method of bolstering the threatened group is through a self-affirmation of preferred character traits. Nostalgia is a sentimental longing for the past, which has been shown to provide many benefits to an individual, both personally and socially. Research has shown that when told to recall a nostalgic memory, participants are said to have greater access to self-affirming characteristics. The present study was performed in an attempt to utilize nostalgic recollection to directly ameliorate the negative effects of stereotype threat. The study provided participants with a selection of gender identification using gendered images, followed by an instruction which was used as the stereotype threat elicitation. Participants were then randomly assigned to one of three memory conditions — nostalgic, ordinary, and none — and were asked to recall and describe the appropriate memory. Participants then completed a hard math test using 26 sample GRE items. Multiple hypotheses were not supported. Some significant results are described. Probable null contributors, implications, and future directions are explored.
Keywords: Stereotype threat, nostalgia, gender, self-affirmation
Thibault-Anderson, Justin Leroy, "CAN NOSTALGIA DEFEND AGAINST STEREOTYPE THREAT?" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2178.