While the effect of negative performance stereotypes on test-taking and in other domains is well documented, a new study shows that the effects might also be seen further upstream than once thought, when the skills are learned, not just performed.
The power of expectation influences learning, not just performance. Next steps should examine tasks where more effortful processing is beneficial. (It’s also a fascinating demonstration of the distinction between learning and performance, often difficult to disentangle.)
Rydell, R.J., Shiffrin, R.M., Boucher, K.L., Van Loo, K., Rydell, M.T. (2010). Stereotype threat prevents perceptual learning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 14042-14047. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1002815107