Stereotype threat vulnerability : a psychometric investigation of the social identities and attitudes scale

Smith, Leann Vernice
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Stereotype threat is a widely researched phenomenon within psychology that has been proposed as one explanation for the underperformance of minority groups. Stereotype threat is the experience a person has when negative stereotypes about their social group are highlighted, causing them to underperform on the given task. Picho and Brown (2011) created the Social Identities and Attitudes Scale (SIAS), a scale containing six factors that research has determined to be important moderators of stereotype threat. The current study investigated the psychometric properties of the SIAS. Confirmatory factor analyses and group invariance tests of the SIAS were conducted on a diverse sample of 516 college students participating in a university's subject pool. The results revealed good model fit of the data, with minor exceptions. Additionally, the same factor structure emerged across four different ethnic subgroups: African American, Caucasian American, Hispanic American, and Asian American participants. The SIAS is a reliable and valid measure of six moderators of stereotype threat: ethnic and gender identity, ethnicity and gender stigma consciousness, negative affect, and math identification. Researchers and practitioners can more confidently use the SIAS as a measure of an individual's susceptibility to stereotype threat effects. Future research directions and practical implications are discussed.