Negative stereotypes have been shown to create cognitive burdens that decrease intellectual performance in a number of tasks such as math and standardized tests. Applying a multidisciplinary approach and an experimental research design, this paper examines the effect of stereotype threat on political knowledge and political efficacy. A sample of 226 undergraduate students completed an online survey on political knowledge and efficacy. Participants were randomly assigned to a stereotype threat condition or a non-threat condition. Contrary to what was hypothesized, stereotype threat does not explain the political knowledge gap between men and women; men score significantly higher than women in both conditions. However, preliminary evidence suggests the presence of stereotype lift in men's sense of political efficacy. Men's political efficacy demonstrates a moderate increase in the stereotype threat condition while women's sense of efficacy does not change (. d=. .53).

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Keywords Gender, Political efficacy, Political knowledge, Stereotype lift, Stereotype threat
Persistent URL
Journal Social Science Journal
Pruysers, S, & Blais, J. (2014). Anything women can do men can do better: An experiment examining the effects of stereotype threat on political knowledge and efficacy. Social Science Journal, 51(3), 341–349. doi:10.1016/j.soscij.2014.05.005