Stereotype Threat

The junior research group "Stereotype Threat" is part of the research center CATALPA.

The junior research group "Stereotype Threat" focuses on how, for example, gender, age and migration background and "otherness" as well as the associated stereotypes influence academic success and social inclusion. The researchers are looking in particular at digital university teaching.

Goals and research questions

Increasing Non-Traditional Students’ Performance and Social Belonging in Distance Education: A Stereotype Threat Perspective

Digital distance education offers unique academic opportunities for non-traditional students (e.g., students who have a migration background, are older, or working full-time). However, digital learning contexts can also pose additional challenges for these students, as memberships in social groups (e.g., gender, age, ethnicity) are particularly salient. The project investigates the influence of stereotypes (generalized beliefs about characteristics of social groups) about non-traditional students and their influence on the academic success and sense of belonging of these students.

Social-psychological research has shown that negative ability-related stereotypes can reduce test performance, learning, academic success and social belonging of negatively stereotyped student groups. Thus, stereotypes can hinder these students from fulfilling their intellectual potential, an effect called stereotype threat. The project investigates stereotype threat for non-traditional students in digital distance education. Furthermore, we will test two interventions designed to support non-traditional students’ sense of belonging at university. The project aims at developing adaptive interventions in order to reduce stereotype threat for non-traditional students in digital distance education.

Another project of the junior research group

"Do I belong? - How Negative Stereotypes Influence the Social Relationships of Adolescents with a Migrant Background in the School Context" (funded by the German Research Foundation: FR 4503/1-1)

more about the project

  • Dr. Laura Froehlich

    • Nathalie Bick (doctoral researcher)
    • Melanie Mroz (research assistant)
  • April 2021 through June 2024

    • Froehlich, L., Brokjøb, L. G., Nikitin, J., & Martiny, S. E., (accepted). Integration or isolation: Social identity threat relates to immigrant students’ sense of belonging and social approach motivation in the academic context. Journal of Social Issues.
    • Bick, N., Froehlich, L., Friehs, M.-T., Kotzur, P. F., & Landmann, H. (accepted). Social evaluation at a distance: Facets of stereotype content of student groups in digital distance education. International Review of Social Psychology.
    • Froehlich, L., Mok, S. Y., Martiny, S. E., & Deaux, K. (2022). Stereotype threat effects for Turkish-origin immigrants in Germany: Taking stock of cumulative research evidence. European Educational Research Journal, 21 (2), 330-354. doi:
    • Froehlich, L., & Schulte, I. (2019). Warmth and competence stereotypes about immigrant groups in Germany. PloS One, 14(9), e0223103.
    • Mok, S. Y., Martiny, S. E., Gleibs, I. H., Deaux, K., Froehlich, L. (2017). The interaction of vertical collectivism and stereotype activation on the performance of Turkish-origin high school students. Learning and Individual Differences, 56,76-84. doi:
    • Froehlich, L., Martiny, S. E., Deaux, K., Goetz, T., & Mok, S. Y. (2016). Being smart or getting smarter: Implicit theories of intelligence moderate stereotype threat and stereotype lift effects. British Journal of Social Psychology, 55, 564-587. DOI: 10.1111/bjso.12144
    • Froehlich, L., Martiny, S. E., Deaux, K., & Mok, S. Y. (2016). “It’s their responsibility, not ours” –Competence stereotypes and causal attributions for immigrants’ academic underperformance. Social Psychology, 47, 74-86. DOI: 10.1027/1864-9335/a000260
    • Martiny, S. E., Mok, S. Y., Deaux, K., & Froehlich, L. (2014). Effects of activating negative stereotypes about Turkish-origin students on performance and identity management in German high schools. International Review of Social Psychology, 3, 205-225. ISSN 0992-986X.