ERIC Number: ED263237
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Emphasizing Environmental Deficits: An Approach to the Reversal of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies about Minority Children.
Gross, Paget H.; Darley, John M.
There are two perspectives from which the academic performance of children from high or low socioeconomic backgrounds can be viewed. The non-environmental perspective specifies a direct relationship between performance and innate ability; environmental deficits may be correlated with poor performances but perhaps are not causally related. The environmental perspective considers that environmental factors may raise (or lower) a performance above (or below) the individual's true underlying abililty level; this may lead to the generation of stereotype-reversing hypotheses. In this study of college students, it was predicted and found that individuals who adopt a non-environmental perspective judge the abilities of high and low socioeconomic background children in a manner that confirms their stereotype-based expectations. That is, the high SES child is judged positively and the low SES child, negatively. The reverse of these judgments was found in individuals who adopt an envrionmental perspective in considering children. These results are discussed in terms of the different hypotheses about ability which may be generated by these perspectives and the mechanisms which may lead people to confirm these ability-relevant hypotheses. (Author/GC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A