Mindful maths: Reducing the impact of stereotype threat through a mindfulness exercise

Weger U. W. , Hooper N., Meier B. P. , Hopthrow T.

CONSCIOUSNESS AND COGNITION, vol.21, no.1, pp.471-475, 2012 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.concog.2011.10.011
  • Page Numbers: pp.471-475
  • Keywords: Mindfulness, Stereotype threat, WORKING-MEMORY CAPACITY, DEPLETION, IDENTITY


Individuals who experience stereotype threat - the pressure resulting from social comparisons that are perceived as unfavourable - show performance decrements across a wide range of tasks. One account of this effect is that the cognitive pressure triggered by such threat drains the same cognitive (or working-memory) resources that are implicated in the respective task. The present study investigates whether mindfulness can be used to moderate stereotype threat, as mindfulness has previously been shown to alleviate working-memory load. Our results show that performance decrements that typically occur under stereotype threat can indeed be reversed when the individual engages in a brief (5 min) mindfulness task. The theoretical implications of our findings are discussed. Crown Copyright (C) 2011 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.