Home > Stereotype > The Hillary Clinton effect: When the same role model inspires or fails to inspire improved performance under stereotype threat

The Hillary Clinton effect: When the same role model inspires or fails to inspire improved performance under stereotype threat

The Hillary Clinton effect: When the same role model inspires or fails to inspire improved performance under stereotype threat

Cheryl A. Taylor
Texas Christian University
Charles G. Lord c.lord@tcu.edu
Texas Christian University
Rusty B. McIntyre
Wayne State University
Rene M. Paulson
Texas Women’s University
Abstract

If successful role models undo stereotype threat effects by providing reassurance that group members can “take care of themselves,” then the same real-world role model might inspire those who think she deserved success, but fail to inspire those who think she did not. In a pilot study, some women participants listed Hillary Clinton high among women who deserved their success; others listed her high among women who did not deserve their success. The former participants, but not the latter, claimed her success came from internal and stable causes and would inspire them in difficult situations. In the main study, women rated how much Hillary Clinton deserved her success. One month later, they were placed under mathematics stereotype threat, read a factual biography of Hillary Clinton, and took a GRE-Q test. Those who had earlier claimed Clinton deserved her success scored as well as a test-only control group; those who had earlier claimed she did not deserve her success scored as poorly as a threat-only control group. The results are seen as contributing to theories of role models, stereotype threat, and attribution.

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Categories: Stereotype
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