PDF | On Jan 11, , Claude M Steele and others published PDF Download Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can. Download [pdf] whistling vivaldi how stereotypes affect us and what we can do (issues of our time) full books. Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (Issues of Our. Download [Pdf] Find Colors: Published in association with the Whitney Museum. is Claude M. Steele's book Whistling. Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do. In the book. Claude M. Steele, who has been.

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Whistling Vivaldi. Issues of Our Time. Ours has been called an information age, but, though information has never been more plentiful, ideas are what shape and . Whistling Vivaldi _ and other clues to how stereotypes affect us - Steele, Claude. pdf - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. Editorial Reviews. Review. Conveys an understanding of why race remains such a powerful .. from site · 6pm. Score deals on fashion brands · AbeBooks.

Such as everyday life or in the business world. Thought-provoking and Necessary By M. Steele's work on stereotype threat is excellent!

I have read and researched almost all of his work in academic journals. A few people recommended this book to me over the years, but I never thought to download it because I was so familiar with his academic publications. However, this past summer, I decided to give a try for my self-imposed "summer reading". It was a good read and the departure from "academic writing" was nice.

I didn't learn anything new, but enjoyed it nevertheless. If you are familiar with Steele's work, you won't get anything new from it. But, if you are new to Steele's work, then this is an impressive, thought-provoking read. In my opinion, his research is necessary in understanding how stereotypes impact us in ways that most people may not realize..

It includes a lot of information on the various psychology studies that the author was involved it, which I found to be quite interesting. My one critique would be its highly repetitive nature. The author only makes a few points that he really drives home throughout the book.

See all customer reviews Book Whistling Vivaldi: Our understandings and views of the world are partial. We simply are not. The first pattern is that despite the strong sense we have of ourselves as autonomous individuals. Arising this way. Although the book deals with issues that can have a political charge.

I would like to see my strongest convictions as arising from that kind of revelation. Something like a unifying understanding of how these threats have their effect is emerging. When that has happened—and it has—that is the direction our research goes in. The constant back-and-forth between ideas and research results hammers away at bias and.

As the white world-class sprinter takes the starting blocks in the meter dash at the Olympic trials. I knew from this visit. I believe. My research life. The second part was to direct an academic-support program for minority students.

But I also knew. My second visit to Ann Arbor. So I knew what to do. I would have had to stop being a researcher. It served the advising. The first part was to be a social psychologist. The first was a new vantage point on a familiar problem. But I worried.

I was attracted to this too. I could see how big the program was. I felt. They were helping students from underrepresented backgrounds be effective on a demanding campus. Two things. When it came to college student life. I would. In the spring of My Ann Arbor visit made me aware that I had a certain perspective on this problem. I visited the program twice to find out. If asked to explain the academic difficulties of any students.

I was on the outside looking in. The program staff and faculty had a mission. I was gratified: They noted the small number of black or minority faculty. Thus one could see the college grades for students who entered Michigan with SATs between and We emphasize the things we can see. And we deemphasize. They had few close friends across group lines. They talked about the university environment. What struck me was something else. In the resulting picture in our minds.

But on the visit I talked to minority students themselves. They could have been making excuses. This line showed that black students with stronger entering SATs also graduated with slightly higher grades.

It was my first glimpse of an important fact: Thus the actor dominates our literal and mental visual field. At every level of entering SATs. They said nothing about expectations. I had become an observer of minority students and their achievement struggles. They had been successful in high school.

They described how social life was organized by race. No surprise. As observers. They were proud to be students at such a strong university.

They seemed earnest. I arrived in Ann Arbor implicitly looking for what the students might be doing. They felt that black styles. The second striking thing I saw on this trip was a graph depicting student grades. The SAT is designed to predict college grades—even though. Their families were proud of them. After forming groups of Michigan graduates for a period of several years on the basis of the SAT score they had when they entered Michigan.

My second visit to Ann Arbor made me aware of what should have been obvious. The graph showed a modest tendency for students with higher SATs to get higher grades. If they brought low expectations with them. But they did seem worried that Michigan was not the right place for them. They talked about being a small social minority. If we assume the SAT is a rough measure of preparation for college.

To show how black students had done. Some years ago. Edward Jones and Richard Nisbett. Jones and Nisbett said. We emphasize things about the actor—characteristics. They worried that teaching assistants.

As students had been telling me. Something about the social and psychological aspects of their experience was likely involved. It was so common and. I was appointed to a universitywide committee on minority student retention and recruitment. As some comfort to the University of Michigan. At the time. It happened throughout the education system. He starts in on a problem by trying to see how it works in real life. He surveys people over the phone. I was excited. A year later Michigan offered me a professorship in psychology.

They stopped a number of black and white students as they crossed campus and asked them to complete a four-or five-page questionnaire. I wondered on that flight home whether these two pieces of evidence—about their grades and about their sense of belonging—had anything to do with each other. I designed a seminar on the topic of underperformance.

Families can be gracious. He snoops in archival records. They wanted to find out how many close friends of a different race students had. There was softer evidence: And there again. I kept talking to students. The Ann Arbor trip raised questions and provided some clues.

I suppressed my normal tendency to proceed quickly to the laboratory. In the fall of Richard Nisbett—another Michigan social psychologist. Almost immediately.

He uses conversations to shape a scientific inquiry. I knew that if I went. The survey revealed that among their six closest friends. Something was suppressing the yield they got from their skills. There was hard evidence: The first page of the questionnaire asked students to list their six best friends. I remember that students in the seminar turned up a surprising fact. Nisbett is a great conversationalist.

I had no idea what it was. I continued to look at grade records. He reads broadly. He interviews people. Inspired by this approach.

I wanted to see how common black student underperformance was across the curriculum. Eventually he does formal experiments to test that understanding and to take the phenomenon further apart to see how it works. They wanted their school to work well. One entire wall was floor-to-ceiling windows that brought in slants of early spring light and the sight of patchy snow in the woods outside.

This is. The school also took the occasion to consult me about the progress of their minority students. It happens to Latinos. Their list was nearly identical to the list drawn up by the Michigan recruitment and retention committee.

Did I have any ideas? The black students. This would turn out to be something I did often in the years to come. Something in the air on campus seemed part of their problems. The flame was the possibility that. The faculty and administrators worried about the problems of black students: Something was causing their strengths to let them down consistently—even the strongest among them.

They wanted. A few years later I was invited to give a talk on my research at a small. Nor could I shake a suspicion that. This early trip was especially interesting. People who made tests had long known about this phenomenon.

They always edified. I learned a lot on these trips. I also felt a presence in the room during the faculty and administrator meetings.

They wanted me to talk too. I talked to black student groups and to faculty and administrators in rapid succession—a dramatic display of different perspectives.

I had to keep them on the table of possibilities. Were they admitting the right students? Should they weigh academic skills even more heavily in admissions? Was family background critical? These were busy people.


The atmosphere was friendly. It was a searing flame. They wanted me to talk. They also knew that it happens to more groups than just blacks. Native Americans. Students crowded in for the session. And standing at the ready I found many explanations.


I met them in a long. We talked in a small conference room paneled in light maple. But I had doubts. Could they fully explain the occurrence of underperformance in so many groups. The cultural domination of whites followed from their numbers.

Was this irrelevant? Did it say something about the possibility of their belonging on this campus? They fanned the flame. This seemed like a reasonable hunch. They said they were unhappy a lot of the time. Sometimes black students said the school had racist elements. These students were the academic vanguard of their group. Racially homogeneous friendship networks can segregate people out of important networks. They were dimensions of social organization. These things combine.

Over 85 percent of Americans. How bad could they be? Could they really be powerful enough to interfere with grade performance of black students. Nor did it seem to be caused simply by motivational or cultural deficits that black students brought with them.

Friendships and social life were also significantly organized by race. The major standing explanations seemed incomplete. They also noted the small number of black faculty and administrators. Against this backdrop. They often went home on weekends.

There was. They were a small minority on campus. But listening to these students. Could they be valued for who they were in this setting? Would they be seen as socially desirable? Numbers played a big role in this sense of marginalization. They would cite an incident with a teaching assistant. Black students were clearly party to this.

This tidy. It did not purposely set out to do things that would downwardly constitute black students. They were slow to respond. They spoke only if spoken to. The college I visited was not making a point. It saw itself as committed to their inclusion. I was working with a University of Michigan graduate student named Steven Spencer now a. But on the day they were not stigmatized. The blue-eyed students. She put felt collars around their necks to identify them.

By this time. But after I thought about group underperformance for a number of years. To show them the experience of being discriminated against. Elliott turned the tables. The environment. Tucked away in this documentary are several scenes showing a fascinating intellectual implication of Ms. On the second day Ms. They show how poorly the stigmatized students did. The brown-eyed students. Elliott deliberately set out to downwardly constitute her students. She encouraged the blue-eyed students not to associate with the brown-eyed students.

These are the scenes in which she gives arithmetic and spelling lessons to small groups of students. On April 4. She lived in Riceville. They receded to the back of even these small groups. They barely paid attention. On the first day.

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The school was bewildered by the problems that followed that inclusion. Martin Luther King Jr. She gave blue-eyed students first access to lessons and materials used in the lessons. She said that blue-eyed students were smarter. They got a lot of answers wrong. She was making a point. That is. They said almost nothing in class and barely spoke all day. She gave blue- eyed students seats in the front of the classroom and first dibs on playground equipment during recess. The students were humiliated.

On the next day. Steve began to pick up this preoccupation too. Could there be something biological about all of these groups that caused them to underperform? Of course. If the group members underperformed when they were stigmatized. We had been working on the question of how people maintain a perception of personal adequacy in the face of information that could threaten that perception.

He grew up on a Michigan farm. But for some reason. Our approach to understanding these questions had earlier been pulled together in a theory of self-affirmation. Intuition and best guesses come into play. He is quick and incisive. The effort to do this.

These were captivating problems. He loves to talk psychology. It soon occurred to us that a natural experiment of precisely this sort might be going on in our own backyard. To do this. We needed a better look at what caused underperformance. I confess that I liked it better than the idea that underperformance was rooted in some biological difference between groups—to me a discouraging and potentially dehumanizing idea.

I kibitzed and kibitzed about it.

That theory and an unrelated. He knows how to throw himself into things. I knew it was time to test this idea. We could compare how much women underperformed in advanced math classes.

But there was also the fact that scholastic underperformance happened in several groups—blacks. I favored the stigmatization idea. A reasonable inference. Considerable research shows that in math classes. This book returns to that question at various points.

Steve is a high-energy. Steve and I. Despite the image of science as a formal and prescribed affair. Yet in English classes. This gave us a group of men and women students who were essentially equal and strong in math skills and in commitment to math.


It encouraged our thinking about stigma and intellectual performance. It is important to stress that once the data were assembled. Or maybe the work in the English classes was just easier than the work in the math classes. There were very few women in advanced math classes.

Women tended to underperform in advanced math classes. Does it happen for low-stakes performances or just high-stakes performances? If stigmatization can impair intellectual performance. Half of the participants took a math test. What factors worsened this effect? What exactly does stigmatization do to people that impairs their intellectual functioning? Are some kinds of people more susceptible to this effect than others?

Does it happen for all stigmatized groups or just some? Does it happen for other kinds of performance. We reasoned as follows: In the real world of college classes. We then brought them into the laboratory one at a time and gave them a very difficult intellectual test alone in a room. Perhaps the men in the English classes were less interested than the men in the math classes.

We needed a more precise test of whether or not stigma impaired intellectual performance. We varied the topic of the test. The data we could assemble were less than perfect. We set up a very simple situation. Seeing underperformance. Our approach was to reproduce our math and English study in the laboratory.

That was the core of the experiment. The experiment was just that simple. But this time. These sections were taken not from the general quantitative or verbal portion of the GRE but from the more difficult GRE subject tests in math and English. They then gave students a math test that was very difficult for eighth-graders. We were encouraged. Camilla Benbow and Julian Stanley. Our society is fascinated by genetic explanations of everything from alcoholism and hyperactivity to happiness.

The ability of neither group is strongly stigmatized in this area. And because the boys and girls in this study had been so carefully selected for having equal math skills and equal exposure to math instruction up to that point. And they were relatively safe.

Their results looked like ours. We had. Benbow and Stanley were pushed to a difficult conclusion: And for the same reason. We believed it was the pressure not to confirm a stigmatizing view of oneself that made women underperform in this experiment. But there was a compelling. In the early s. If having the collar on—being at risk of group stigmatization—was enough to interfere with intellectual performance.

Frustration on such a test inherently reinforces this worry. They might lack it as individuals. Frustration on the test could reflect that. Theirs were eighth-grade boys and girls who had had essentially the same coursework in math up to that point. The idea that genetics underlies the sex difference in math performance—just like the racial differences in athletic performance that I mentioned earlier—seems destined to fascinate us.

The girls underperformed in relation to the boys. By contrast. Larry Summers. It would be an experiment with real stakes. But we knew. Frustration would make the cultural stereotype come to. This was no small moment in our nascent research program. For motivated women taking a difficult math test. Our explanation was that frustration during a difficult math test made women worry about confirming.

And in my view their importance ranks in exactly the order I have just described. All it took for them to feel this pressure was frustration. But a year later. The second is what I would call the differential availability of aptitude at the high end. Summers resigned. This is both a fun and a tense part of science: Nancy Hopkins. On March 15 of that year. One is what I would call the high-powered job hypothesis. The debate over his leadership had broadened. In this case. We had to address it.

But what would that experiment be? In trying to figure that out. Within days op-ed pages. Soon some people called on Summers to resign.

He weathered this vote. If you come up with a good empirical test. Our idea was that stigma had more to do with these differences than people commonly thought.

In the middle of his speech. Protests at Harvard University intensified in the weeks and months that followed the conference. We would give them all a difficult math test alone in a room. We would recruit strong women and men math students at Michigan. Perhaps something about how women are socialized. The challenge was to find something extra to real life that would lower the pressure women normally feel during such tests.

We would do the experiment as before. A change of instruction and a contingency of their gender identity that normally haunted them during difficult math would be gone. They were now in the same boat as men taking this test. But for this experiment we knew the stakes were high.

It was a simple instruction. Among participants who were told the test did show gender differences. And the results were dramatic. But how to lower this pressure? We first thought of trying to persuade them that the negative stereotype about women and math was false. This meant that nothing extra was needed to impose this pressure.

This would put in place all of the elements we needed to pit the two big ideas against each other in an empirical test. We stewed. So we had a plan. But among participants who were told the test did not show gender differences.

If women for whom stigma pressure was lowered performed as well as equally skilled men in this experiment. It made it not a sign of anything about being a woman. But presenting the test this way changed the meaning of any frustration women experienced. But then we realized that. We were excited but tense. Thus the challenge in setting up a good experiment was not that of finding something extra to real life that would put this pressure on women during a math test.

They gave us a clear answer. But we had to admit that our idea was unusual. We presented developing versions of the idea at conferences. Removing the threat of stereotype confirmation that normally hangs over the heads of women doing difficult math. They knew their performance could confirm that view.

And for these women invested in math. Nor was our idea in general use. This book will have a lot more to tell about that. It was this finding that changed our research lives. It gave us the first empirical signal that the stigma pressure we had been theorizing about was actually powerful enough to affect the ordinary experience of women doing math.

By no means did we have a complete explanation of these findings. Research has shown that the further women go in mathematics. They did not mean.

What they did know. Most observed sex differences in math performance are not between samples of men and women selected for being similar in math skills and motivation.

Taking off the collar of stigma threat on one occasion might well reduce these differences on that occasion. The women in our experiments were selected for having strong. They had no reason to believe that the experiment was run by people biased against women. But they had a difficult time keeping our explanation in mind as a distinct idea. Our test takers were alone in a room. Many factors contribute to this—the sex roles women are socialized into.

The crumbs leading to it were consistent: It was also unusual because it suggested this could happen without bad intentions. It is no exaggeration to say that these findings changed the course of our research lives. They knew how people in this culture tend to see math ability.

They are between samples of men and women who may differ in skills and motivation. Could it be overcome with more effort. If difficult math triggered low expectations that. They had always been good at math. Were there things that schools and teachers could do to relieve these pressures? Were there things that individuals could do to relieve them? Important questions—all of which. Could the same process that affected women math students be a factor in the underperformance of minority students?

There were many questions. We thought we had something distinct. How did this pressure impair performance? Through memory impairment?

Whistling Vivaldi _ and other clues to how stereotypes affect us - Steele, Claude.pdf

Extra cognitive load? Physiological impairment? Did it affect only people who cared about the performance? Did it affect only women in relation to math.

But at the time. Almost invariably. The strong forward shot from too far out and missed easy rebounds under the basket. By the time the team reached the finals. Before the turnaround.

The sportswriters were observers. Under these constraints. The next year. To make sense of things. The point guard could pass okay. Their player characterizations changed. Instantly the team began to win. No player changes. Explanations of underachievement by minority and women students are under the same constraints as explanations of the early Sonics.

The regular season ended with a 47— 35 record before the Sonics lost the NBA title by just 6 points in the final seconds of the seventh game of the championship series. A single personnel change—the addition of Wilkens—and the pieces of the team came together. Now the sportswriters had to explain winning. And they had losses to explain. With a coaching change. They valorized the same players they had derided a month earlier. Their ascent to glory followed a long period of mediocrity.

The season. In Something else was involved. Eventually the Seattle sportswriters broke set in The players had deficiencies. The idea. Like that of the Seattle sportswriters when the Sonics began to win.

Like the sportswriters. That made it clear. By any normal standard. They saw the Sonics for what they were. Socioeconomic disadvantage. Scott argues. In his book Contempt and Pity. And in turn. The Sonics started to win with the same players. The psyche of individual blacks gets damaged. It pressed hard on my thinking as I thought about what to do next.

And perhaps foremost among these facts was the type of students who participated in our research. Education is not equal in this society. The sportswriters. There was then. Gordon Allport. Josh had signed on as a postdoctoral student to research issues related to self-affirmation theory.

The facts were stacking up against the deficiency idea as an adequate account of what I had seen and of what our experiments were showing. But before getting too concerned about this. They found it hard to believe that stigma pressure of the sort we had described could seriously disrupt the intellectual performance of strong. Of first importance was the generalization question: Would the effect of stigma pressure that Steve and I had observed with women and math generalize to another group whose intellectual abilities where not well regarded.

African Americans on a difficult standardized test—the group whose academic troubles hand launched this research? In fact. In no time we had an experiment. We could see their point.

If it did. Joining me was another wonderful collaborator. There was reason to wonder. I knew I had to answer a more fundamental question first. It was. He has an intuitive feel for social psychology and for how to do experiments. At about this time. These were the puzzles on the table. We lined up our questions. A shared puzzle gets solved much faster. We invited black and white Stanford students. So we knew our challenge had two parts: I needed to know whether the effect of stigma pressure that Steve and I had observed in our experiments with women and math would generalize to other groups.

Would this pressure affect the performance of other groups whose intellectual abilities were negatively viewed in the larger society? Would it affect the performance of. I moved again. I felt lucky. Josh found himself working with a preoccupied professor.

We considered the facts in front of us: A second question was whether an effect of stigma pressure. And Josh. It turned out that we were in precisely the right place to test these questions: Stanford University. These students. He had just completed an insightful dissertation on the topic.

With this finding. And they responded accordingly. We came to a solution different from the one Steve and I had used for the women and math experiments. They got. What happened is what was expected: As in the experiments with women and math.

It happened for at least two groups. We used the same test on which blacks had underperformed under ordinary testing conditions. We had equated black and white participants as to their test-relevant knowledge and skill. It would cause frustration. With this instruction we freed these black participants of the stigma threat they might otherwise have experienced on a difficult test of verbal reasoning.

This result. They performed at the same higher level as white test takers with equal skills and knowledge. To find that out. Josh and I had now captured black student underperformance in verbal reasoning in the laboratory. In critical testing situations. It was a difficult test for students at this stage. We administered the test as it is administered in real life.

Or maybe the test items were culturally biased against them. As for women taking a difficult math test. With this instruction. Some of these were associated with black imagery—for example. Their job was to complete each fragment as fast as they could.

Being under no such pressure during this test. And third. More and more.When that has happened—and it has—that is the direction our research goes in.

Steele ,Read Whistling Vivaldi: These people know their group identity. The environment. At this point. One's own stereotype threat can analogize one into understanding the other guy's stereotype threat. However, the racial achievement gap remains because not all groups of students are advancing at the same rates. This early trip was especially interesting.

Racially homogeneous friendship networks can segregate people out of important networks.