Does the ‘Stereotype Threat’ Excuse Make Sense?
“Stereotype threat” is one of the defense lines that defenders of racial preferences have created. Supposedly, it explains why students admitted under racial preferences don’t do as well as “they really can.” It’s because they are under so much pressure not to do poorly (and thus validate social stereotypes against the group they’re said to represent) that they in fact, do poorly. I argue that this is quite implausible in a Minding the Campus post.
This argument makes no sense for college students, but suppose that it did — why should we think that this tendency to choke under pressure goes away after graduation?