Research Library

The authors suggest that standard measures of academic performance are biased against non-Asian ethnic minorities and women in quantitative fields. This bias results from the context in which they are assessed—from psychological threats in common academic environments, which depress the performances of people targeted by negative intellectual stereotypes. Two meta-analyses, combining data from 18,976 students, tested this latent-ability hypothesis. Both meta-analyses found that, under conditions that reduce psychological threat, stereotyped students performed better than nonstereotyped students at the same level of past performance. The authors discuss implications for the interpretation of and remedies for achievement gaps.