Stereotype performance boosts: the impact of self-relevance and the manner of stereotype activation.

Margaret Shih*, Jennifer A. Richeson, Nalini Ambady, Kentaro Fujita, Heather M. Gray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


The activation of positive stereotypes has been shown to produce academic performance boosts. Evidence regarding the role of self-relevance in producing such effects has been mixed. The authors propose that the subtlety of stereotype activation plays a key role in creating performance boosts among targets and nontargets of stereotypes. Study 1 found that subtle stereotype activation boosted performance in targets, but blatant activation did not. Study 2 was conducted on both targets and nontargets using different methods of stereotype activation. Again, targets showed performance boosts when stereotypes were subtly activated but not when they were blatantly activated. Nontargets, however, showed boosts in performance only when stereotypes were blatantly activated. The role of self-relevance in mediating sensitivity to stimuli is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-647
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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