A Mediated-Moderation Model of Stereotype Threat and Performance Pressure Effects
Type of Degreedissertation
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The present study examined the effectiveness of a model of stereotype threat and performance pressure effects. Specifically, it was proposed that stereotype threat and performance pressure are related to math test performance, and that this relationship was moderated by competitiveness. Additionally, it was proposed that the interactions among these three predictor variables were mediated by test-related perception variables (e.g.,test-taking motivation and anxiety). Female participants were assigned to one of four conditions (stereotype threat, performance pressure, combination, control) and given a math ability test. Information concerning their individual levels of competitiveness and perceptions of tests was also collected. Results indicated that only performance pressure was significantly related to math test performance, making it the stronger predictor when compared to stereotype threat. Additionally, perceptions of stereotype threat and performance pressure both had an indirect effect on test performance through the proposed mediator variables, but the effect was in the opposite direction to what was expected. These findings suggest that although it may be difficult to consistently manipulate feelings of threat and pressure, those feelings may actually provide a performance advantage rather than a hindrance.