More recommended reading: Stereotype Promise

We’ve talked a bit on this blog about “stereotype threat” but there is also evidence of a phenomena called “stereotype promise.” “Stereotype promise” is the promise of being viewed through the lens of a positive stereotype that leads one to perform in such a way that confirms the positive stereotype, thereby enhancing performance. See more here at Sociological Images.

Do you think white men in our disciple benefit from stereotype promise?

5 thoughts on “More recommended reading: Stereotype Promise

  1. But of course. I was greeted by an emeritus professor when I started my tenure track position with “but you don’t look like a philosopher!” He was joking, but it wasn’t very funny.

  2. I have removed a comment because it makes a lot of claims about racial differences with no attempt to produce adequate evidence.

  3. I have little doubt that there are white men in philosophy who benefit from this sort of phenomenon. But my initial guess here would be that stereotype promise is more narrow than stereotype threat. Whereas stereotype threat tends to threaten all or most members of underrepresented or marginalized groups in philosophy, I would venture to guess that stereotype promise only benefits a subset of white males who possess other characteristics or traits that are stereotyped as being correlated with better performance (a “professional” appearance/dress, taller/thinner white males, white males who are not disabled, white males who have the “correct” philosophical interests or intuitions, white males who get along with other philosophers socially, etc.).

    It’s an empirical question, so that’s only a guess or hypothesis at this point. I’d be very interested in the results of any studies that are done.

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