Sage Center Lecture: "Stereotype Threat Up Close: See It, Fix It?" with Claude Steele

Thursday, October 18, 2012
UC Santa Barbara Mosher Alumni House
4:00 pm

Stereotype threat is the experience of anxiety in a situation where a person has the potential to confirm a negative stereotype about his or her social group. In school, stereotype threat can cause underrepresented students to perform below their potential. It can cause them to focus less on learning and more on the worrisome prospect of performing poorly. The sting of stereotype threat can be felt by anyone ? male or female, black or white, Asian or Latino, young or old. But when the threat is chronic, it can contribute to enduring patterns of inequality in school and beyond. What can be done to reverse the effects of stereotype threat? Social psychologist Claude Steele will illuminate the experience of stereotype threat and highlight the powerful ways we can diminish it and close the achievement gap between groups.


Claude Steele is the I. James Quillen Dean for the School of Education at Stanford University. He was educated at Hiram College and at The Ohio State University, where he received his Ph.D. in Psychology in 1971. Steele taught at the University of Utah, the University of Washington, the University of Michigan and Stanford University, where he held appointments as the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences, as Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and as the Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. In 2009, he became the 21st Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Columbia University. In 2011, he left Columbia and returned to Stanford.

Dr. Steele is recognized as a leader in the field of social psychology and for his commitment to the systematic application of social science to problems of major societal significance. His research focuses on the psychological experience of the individual and, particularly, on the experience of threats to the self and the consequences of those threats. Steele has published articles in numerous scholarly journals, and his most recent book, Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us, was published in 2010.