This document explores the presence of stereotype threat among college students training for careers in music. Beginning in the 1990s, an effort led by Claude M. Steele (social psychologist and professor emeritus at Stanford University) identified stereotype threat as an attribute to the underperformance of minority groups. Continued research has mainly focused on stereotype threat within the following contexts: female performance within science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) fields, African American performance on standardized tests, and European American performance in athletics. This document contains two pilot studies that strive to apply current stereotype threat research to the field of music education and music performance in order to ask the following questions: Does stereotype threat impact the education of underrepresented collegiate music students? Does stereotype threat heighten gender awareness of musicians when they enter the typical auditioning environment? The two pilot studies consist of the following: (1) a survey intended to analyze the possible impact of stereotype threat on music students’ interaction with their colleagues and music instructors and (2) a quantitative study that explores the presence of stereotype threat (among musicians) through the use of a word-fragment completion task administered immediately before a mock audition.
- An Exploration of Stereotype Threat in Collegiate Music Programs
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