Even positive stereotypes can hinder performance, researchers report

Does hearing that you are a member of an elite group – of chess players, say, or scholars – enhance your performance on tasks related to your alleged area of expertise? Not necessarily, say researchers who tested how sweeping pronouncements about the skills or likely success of social groups can influence children’s performance. The researchers found that broad generalizations about the likely success of a social group – of boys or girls, for example – actually undermined both boys’ and girls’ performance on a challenging activity.