Stereotype Threat, the Test Center Environment, and Performances on the GRE General Test

Walters, Alyssa M.; Lee, Soonmook; Trapani, Catherine
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Stereotype threat testing environment gender ethnicity


The study investigated the applicability of previous experimental research on stereotype threat to operational Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test testing centers. The goal was to document any relationships between features of the testing environment that might cue stereotype threat as well as any impact on GRE test scores among African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and female test-takers. Among such features were the gender and ethnicity of test proctors and more general factors, such as the size, activity level, and social atmosphere of test centers. Our analyses revealed several relationships among environmental factors and several variations in test performance for all groups. However, we found no direct support for stereotype threat and, in fact, found some effects for proctor ethnicity that ran counter to a stereotype-threat explanation.

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