"The illegal alien" : how stereotypes in the media can undermine communication performance
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This report explored the effects of stereotype threat—i.e., the apprehension associated with the possibility of confirming a self-relevant negative stereotype—on the stigmatized group Latinos as they were interviewed about their academic achievements and career aspirations. Latino participants were exposed to a self-relevant negative stereotype in the news, an illegal immigrant crossing the Mexican-American border smuggling drugs, as a stimulus activating stereotype threat. The study used deception as participants were unaware of the connection between the news article and the interview thus ensuring stereotype threat activation. Latino participants in the illegal immigrant/criminal condition displayed more verbal disfluency and tentative language than those in the control condition demonstrating evidence for media’s ability to stereotype threat.