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Lazy, Dumb, or Industrious: When Stereotypes Convey Attribution Information in the Classroom

Authors
  • Reyna, Christine1
  • 1 University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Psychology, Los Angeles, California , Los Angeles
Type
Published Article
Journal
Educational Psychology Review
Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2000
Volume
12
Issue
1
Pages
85–110
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1023/A:1009037101170
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

Historically, ethnic minority children and girls have underachieved in American schools. This paper examines the role that stereotypes play in imposing obstacles to success for stigmatized children inside and outside of the classroom. Stereotypes convey explanatory information about groups—such as blacks are lazy, girls are bad at math, and so forth—that may be used as attributions for performance by adults as well as the children themselves. This paper presents a model that brings to light the underlying attributional structures of all stereotypes. Each of these attributional signatures has specific effects on judgments of responsibility and deservingness, help giving or punishment, self-esteem and motivation, and even performance inside and outside of the classroom. Through recognizing that stereotypes are vehicles for attributional judgments, educators are better able to anticipate the effects that stereotypes may have on students and take measures to counteract or diminish them.

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