Mindful maths: Reducing the impact of stereotype threat through a mindfulness exercise

Consciousness and Cognition 21 (1):471-475 (2012)
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Abstract

Individuals who experience stereotype threat – the pressure resulting from social comparisons that are perceived as unfavourable – show performance decrements across a wide range of tasks. One account of this effect is that the cognitive pressure triggered by such threat drains the same cognitive resources that are implicated in the respective task. The present study investigates whether mindfulness can be used to moderate stereotype threat, as mindfulness has previously been shown to alleviate working-memory load. Our results show that performance decrements that typically occur under stereotype threat can indeed be reversed when the individual engages in a brief mindfulness task. The theoretical implications of our findings are discussed

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