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Stereotype Threat Research

National Science Foundation Grant DRL-1420063 September 1, 2014-August 31, 2017

Stereotype Threat Effects on Deaf and Hard of Hearing College
Students’ Mathematics Problem Solving Performance

Ronald R. Kelly, Principal Investigator
Director, REACH Center for Career Studies
MSSE Graduate Teaching Program, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, RIT

Jeremy P. Jamieson
Department of Clinical & Social Sciences in Psychology,
University of Rochester

Gerald P. Berent
Associate Director, REACH Center for Career Studies
Department of Liberal Studies
Rochester Institute of Technology

Peter C. Hauser
Director, Deaf Studies Laboratory
ASL & Interpreter Education Department
Rochester Institute of Technology


The purpose is to examine the nature of stereotype threat effects in deaf students and the extent that negative stereotype threat may contribute to their performance in solving mathematical problems. Stereotypes are the perceptions and misperceptions of others toward an identifiable group of people. Stereotype threat occurs when a member of a stigmatized group feels at risk of confirming, as self-characteristic, a negative stereotype about one’s group. Awareness of the stereotype, beliefs that stereotypes are applicable to self-identity, and evaluation in the context of stereotypes are all necessary for the experience of stereotype threat influencing one’s performance (in this case, mathematical problem solving). This groundbreaking research is the first to examine stereotype threat effects in deaf and hard of hearing people and supports the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) goal to broaden minority participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

This grant research is housed in the NTID Center for Studies on Career Success, REACH—Research on Employment and Adapting to Change (Ronald R. Kelly, Ph.D., Director), Rosica Hall 1140.