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Accid Anal Prev. 2008 Mar;40(2):667-74. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2007.09.003. Epub 2007 Oct 2.

Stereotype threat increases the likelihood that female drivers in a simulator run over jaywalkers.

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School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia.


Stereotype threat, or the belief that one may be the target of demeaning stereotypes, leads to performance disruptions in a variety of domains. Two experiments conducted in a driving simulator demonstrate that stereotype threat also disrupts control of an automobile. Women who were reminded of the stereotype that females are poor drivers were more than twice as likely to collide with jaywalking pedestrians than women who were not reminded of this stereotype. Experiment 2 also revealed that the magnitude of this effect was equivalent to that produced by a secondary task, suggesting that stereotype threat might diminish driving performance via a disruptive mental load.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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