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Abrams

Title: Threat Inoculation: Experienced and Imagined Intergenerational Contact Prevents Stereotype Threat Effects on Older People’s Math Performance

Author (s):  Dominic Abrams, Richard Crisp, Sibila Marques, Emily Fagg, Lauren Bedford, Dimitri Provias

Abstract:  The authors hypothesized that experienced and imagined intergenerational contact should improve older people’s math test performance under stereotype threat. In Experiment 1 (N = 51, mean age = 69 years), positive prior contact with grandchildren eliminated stereotype threat, which was mediated partially by reduced test-related anxiety. In Experiment 2 (N = 84, mean age = 72 years), the effect of threat on performance was significantly improved when participants merely imagined intergenerational contact, a situation again mediated by reduced anxiety. Previous research established that intergroup contact improves intergroup attitudes. The findings show that intergroup (intergenerational) contact also provides a defense against stereotype threat.

Category: Theory & Practice

Keywords: intergenerational contact, stereotype threat, test performance, imagined contact, older adults, perceptions of aging

Reference: Abrams, D. Crisp, R. J., Marques, S. Fagg, E., Bedford, L. and Provias, D. (2008). Threat Inoculation: Experienced and Imagined Intergenerational Contact Prevents Stereotype Threat Effects on Older People’s Math Performance. Psychology and Aging, 23(4): 934–93.

Peer reviewed journal:  yes

Link to Full Texthttp://psycnet.apa.org/journals/pag/23/4/934/

 


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