Stereotype Threat: Elderly Drivers

by aristern

Creative Commons Thursday April 28, 2016


Dr. Pazack, I'm having trouble understanding stereotype threat. Can you help me out?

Absolutely! I would love to walk you through it. The best way to do that would be with a real life example.

Alright! Lets think about old people driving...scary, right?

Grandpa, I heard old people are bad at driving.

Oh yeah, Pip? We'll see about that...

I'll prove Pip wrong. I'll prove everyone wrong...

Get off my a**, old man!!

I can't miss that stop sign...

ARGHHH!!! I missed it!

So let me get this straight. Because Pip mentioned the stereotype of old people being bad drivers, Grandpa, who identifies as an elderly driver, actually drove poorly?

Exactly! As Steele would put it, the threat was "in the air."

So what would have happened if Pip never mentioned the stereotype of elderly people being poor drivers?

I'm glad you asked! He would have been significantly less likely to perform any of those driving violations.

Dr. Pazack, what happened inside Grandpa's brain that made him drive worse than normal?

Basically, in effort to combat the stereotype, Grandpa's working memory was hijacked, making the task at hand much more difficult.

Just to sum it up... when negative stereotypes exist about a stigmatized group and become relevant, people in that group attempt to defy the stereotype. In turn, they peform poorly at the task at hand.


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I'm from United States.
Joined April 25, 2016
1 comics published

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