Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

College/School

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department/Program

Psychology

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Jennifer Bragger

Committee Member

Valerie Sessa

Committee Member

Kenneth Sumner

Abstract

This study examined whether set shifting mediates the relationship between induction of stereotype threat and performance on organizational selection processes in men and women. Undergraduate students (N=90) were assessed in time in seconds to complete the Trial Making Test (TMT) part B, number of error in TMT-B and performance in a cognitive ability test after being exposed to one of three condition: non-stereotype threat, stereotype threat, and stereotyped threat alleviation. We predicted that females who had Stereotype Threat induced would do worse on the Cognitive Ability math Test (CAT) taken as part of the selection process, that they would take less time set-shifting between different types of stimuli, and would have more errors in doing it than those who do not have Stereotype Threat induced or who have ST induced but also have Stereotype Threat alleviated, but that this difference will not occur across conditions for males. We found that stereotype threat had no significant effect on females’ scores in the CAT. However, females in Stereotype threat condition took significantly less time to set-shift (i.e. speed) between different type of stimuli and had higher number of error when they did it than those in both stereotype threat and stereotype alleviated groups, suggesting that stereotype threatened situations could undermine performance on a task requiring attentional control.

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