Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez


Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez


Scott C. Bates


Donna Gilbertson


Azenett Garza


Eduardo Ortiz


This study was conducted to examine the impact of various social comparisons on stereotype threat for Black college students attending predominantly White colleges and universities (PWCUs). Additionally, explored was whether the student's Black racial identity would moderate the relationship between social comparison and academic achievement. Social comparison theory posits that to gain an accurate self-evaluation, individuals compare themselves to others who are similar; therefore, for Black college students attending PWCUs their comparison is most likely to occur with White students. Stereotype threat is being at risk of confirming a negative stereotype about one's group membership. Participants were 144 self-identified Black college students (including bi-and multiracially identified individuals), currently enrolled in college in the U.S. Data were collected in four phases, with the fourth phase utilizing a participant panel. The study was available for 7 months and was self-administered online through a popular survey software. Participants completed self-report measures, read statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), completed two academic tasks, and viewed a slideshow presentation of images. Data patterns were similar for the White and neutral conditions and were similar for the matched minority and unmatched minority conditions; therefore, participants in the White comparison condition and neutral condition were grouped together to form one subordinate group (i.e., racial nonminority intervention group), and participants in the racially matched and unmatched minority comparison conditions were grouped together to form another subordinate group (i.e., racial minority intervention group). Results indicated a statistically significant effect for time by condition, F(1,142) = 4.776, p = .030, partial n2 = .033, with the racial nonminority group showing a greater impact on stereotype threat. Stereotype threat was positively impacted at a rate greater for the racial nonminority group than for the racial minority group.



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Psychology Commons