Race, sex, and the expression of self-fulfilling prophecies in a laboratory teaching situation

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Abstract

Attempted (a) to identify patterns of teacher behavior that vary with expectations for pupil ability and thus may mediate teacher expectancy effects and (b) to investigate ways in which pupil race and sex may interact with perceived pupil ability in affecting teacher behavior. 100 White female undergraduates enrolled in teacher training programs presented lessons to “phantom” pupils who were alleged to be observing and responding from behind a 1-way glass. Race, sex, and ability manipulations were embedded in descriptions of these phantom pupils. Numerous verbal and nonverbal aspects of teacher behavior were recorded. Ss with low-ability “pupils” taught less material, allowed less response opportunity, gave lengthier praise after successful performance, and showed less vocal nervousness. Race × Ability interactions were found, showing that teachers directed most positive affect to high-ability Black and low-ability White pupils. (27 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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