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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Personality and academic achievement, Competency-based education, Stereotypes (Social psychology), Group identity, Women college students-Psychology, Smith College-Students-Attitudes, Self-stereotyping, Depersonalization, Self-categorization, Group entitativity, Academic achievement


I conducted a 3 (academic designation: verbal, spatial, or control) x 2 (group entitativity: high or low) factorial experiment in order to examine the effects of these manipulations on four dependent variables: group task performance, scores on verbal/spatial assessments, trait list content, and prize selection. I induced subjects to think in terms of a prompted academic designation and manipulated the extent to which they identified with the new social category. Results of this study confirmed my hypothesis that individuals who view the group as highly entitative will come to think of themselves more in terms of this salient social group than their personal identity. Most notably, I found significant 2-way interaction effects for the subjects' performance on the verbal academic assessment and prize selection. These findings suggest that enhancing group entitativity leads individuals to strongly identify with the social category and thus, exhibit behavior that is consistent with the in-group. Under the No Child Left Behind Act, states are required to report information about how students in every school perform on annual standardized tests. The accessibility of these data is important in terms of keeping the public informed and schools accountable. While these data are crucial to reform efforts, I suspect that students will self-stereotype according to prototypical traits of their school when school membership is made salient. A new model of selfstereotyping will be presented, followed by implications for future reform efforts.




57 p. : ill. Honors Project-Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 52-57)