Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Cheryl L. Dickter

Committee Members

Elyas Bakhtiari

Dana Lashley

Adrian Bravo


Stereotype threat, the psychological phenomenon of feeling pressure to not confirm a negative stereotype about one’s racial group, can negatively affect the academic performance of minoritized college students. Present literature suggests that when activated, one’s working memory may be negatively impacted, along with performance on specific academic tasks, and higher physiological stress responses may be recorded. Black and White college students (n = 71) completed a math task following a stereotype threat prime or no prime by either a Black or White experimenter. Throughout experimentation physiological data was recorded via blood pressure readings. Although it was hypothesized that the race of the experimenter, participant race, and stereotype threat condition would affect test performance and blood pressure, this hypothesis was not supported. Instead, when the experimenter was Black, White participants had higher scores than Black participants. Blood pressure did not vary as a function of condition. Implications for this research include the possibility of creating more equitable academic spaces/environments for students who identify as members of diverse racial/ethnic minorities, by being mindful of the implicit effects of the stereotype threat.

Available for download on Sunday, May 11, 2025

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