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Joshua Aronson, assistant professor of applied psychology at New York University, will speak on “Narrowing the Minority-White Achievement Gap: Lessons from Psychology” 7:15 p.m. today in Jaqua Auditorium, Hugel Science Center.

Sponsored by the psychology department, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Aronson has authored many research articles in social psychology, but is best known for his insights into stereotype threat, a topic that Lafayette professors and students have studied. He will discuss his recent work on strategies to minimize its impact.

“His paper with Claude Steele in 1995, which demonstrated that simply activating African American college students’ racial identity and stereotypes about performance on national standardized math tests significantly diminished their performance, created a sensation in psychology,” says Ann McGillicuddy-DeLisi, Marshall R. Metzgar Professor of Psychology and department head. “Since that time, Professor Aronson has further explored the phenomenon of stereotype threat, through which ‘the social stigma of intellectual inferiority undermines standardized test performance and school outcomes in cultural minorities.'”

Aronson has received a number of research awards, including the Career Award from the National Science Foundation and a Faculty Scholars Award from the William T. Grant Foundation. He was recipient of the Louise M. Kidder Early Career Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues for his research on “stereotype threat.” He is editor of the forthcoming volume Improving Academic Achievement: Psychological Foundations of Education.

Aronson earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Santa Cruz and a Ph.D. from Princeton University, in addition to doing postdoctoral work at Stanford University.

Matt McGlone, associate professor of psychology at Lafayette, has collaborated with Aronson on stereotype threat research, resulting in presentations at the Symposium on Stereotype Threat at the Annual Meeting of the European Association of Experimental Social Psychology, Oxford University, in 1999, and the 76th Annual Convention of the Western Psychological Association, San Jose, Calif., in 1996. McGlone’s work on stereotype threat also was presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Women in Psychology, Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2000.

In addition, McGlone supervised an honors thesis by Angela Neal ’01 entitled “Are Women Threatened by Stereotypes in Political Knowledge Surveys?” He also served as mentor for Buffie Longmire ’02 (Watertown, Mass.) in an EXCEL Scholars project on stereotype threat that included a series of studies in which students took tests and were subtly reminded of their gender and ethnicity.

Last year, McGillicuddy-DeLisi served as adviser for Jennifer Fleming ’01 on her honors thesis entitled “Effects of Stereotype Threat on Boys’ and Girls’ Standardized Math Test Performance.”

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