Stereotype Threat

What is it?

Stereotype threat is a form of confirmation bias focused on various stereotypes that an individual faces with regards to their race. The term was first coined by Steele and Aronson in 1955. Consequences of stereotype threat include underperformance, limiting professions that individuals would pursue, and basically selling one's accomplishments short.

Experiences With Stereotype Threat

I've only recently experienced stereotype threat in my previous profession as a teacher. There really aren't that many asian teachers in the U.S. with the majority teaching a foreign language. I've discussed it with colleagues in the past, with a few skeptical of my abilities in a classroom due to a perceived passivity among my culture. Quite frankly, I believe stereotype threat is racism, and personally I welcome the opportunity to show others through my actions a different perspective on my culture. I think confronting it head on in a debate is not productive, as it could come off as very confrontational, which can be perceived as a confirmation of sorts. If I do suspect someone else is feeling it, I would offer the individual a welcoming ear to vent.