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Threat inoculation: Experienced and imagined intergenerational contact prevent stereotype threat effects on older people’s math performance

By Dominic Abrams, Richard J. Crisp, Sibila Marques, Emily Fagg, Lauren Bedford and Dimitri Provias


The authors hypothesized that experienced and imagined intergenerational contact should improve older people's math test performance under stereotype threat. In Experiment 1 (N = 5 1, mean age = 69 years), positive prior contact with grandchildren eliminated stereotype threat, which was mediated partially by reduced test-related anxiety. In Experiment 2 (N = 84. mean age = 72 years), the effect of threat on performance was significantly improved when participants merely imagined intergenerational contact, a situation again mediated by reduced anxiety. Previous research established that intergroup contact improves intergroup attitudes. The findings show that intergroup (intergenerational) contact also provides a defense against stereotype threat

Topics: BF
Year: 2008
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