Watch Puncturing Stereotypes and Their Impact on Identity

Written by: The Exchange

Stereotypes feel synonymous with many of the characters that we see on TV and in the movies. All Asians know martial arts or own small stores. Black women are sassy, while Latino men are dashing. Germans are efficient, most Brits are evil—but also classy, even if they’re uptight and mean—and Russians are super scientists. These stereotypes resonate with audiences and become more than familiar tropes; they become genuine characteristics assigned to groups or individuals, and they are damaging not just because they’re wrong, but because they actually impact the people that they portray. One important impact of this is called stereotype threat: if you’re an Asian, a Black woman, or Latino man (indeed, pick your stereotype), the result is a distracting kind of pressure to overcome that stock image, which often negatively influence a person’s ability to succeed. So how do we puncture a stereotype? What can be done to get past stereotype threat? Claude Steele, who coined the term stereotype threat and who has researched this phenomenon extensively, joins us to answer these and other provocative and important questions.

***VIP Q&A After the Main Event***

If you donated $100 or more in the past 12 months or donate at the $20 level for this event, you’ll have the opportunity to join our 30 minute VIP Q&A right after the main event at around 2PM PDT/5PM EDT and speak directly with Claude. We’ll reach out to those donors with more details.


Claude M. Steele is an American social psychologist and a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. He is best known for his work on stereotype threat and its application to minority student academic performance. He is elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Board, the National Academy of Education, and the American Philosophical Society. In 2020 he received the Legacy Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). The SPSP Legacy honors luminary figures whose seminal career contributions have shaped the field.

The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.