Identity-safe environments

Steven Spencer: “Identity-safe environments:
How positive environments can unlock latent ability”

February 5, 2009 at 3:45 PM at Brooks-Rogers Auditorium

spencer-photoSteven Spencer is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Social Psychology Division at the University of Waterloo, Canada. He received his doctorate from the University of Michigan and has held faculty positions at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Hope College. He maintains an active research program that investigates self-image maintenance processes, motivated social perception, and stereotyping. He has served his discipline as an associate editor at the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and as a consulting editor at the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Self and Identity.

“I do research on motivation and the self, particularly on how these factors affect stereotyping and prejudice. In examining motivation and the self I have begun to examine how implicit processes that are outside of people’s awareness affect people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In examining stereotyping and prejudice I look at how threats to the self-concept can lead to stereotyping and prejudice, and how this stereotyping and prejudice affects subsequent feelings about the self. In the other research I also examine how being a member of a stereotyped group affects people’s self-concept and academic performance.”

Professor Fein introduces:

“Dr. Spencer worked with Claude Steele on the very first studies of stereotype threat in the mid-90s and has been working closely with Steele ever since. Together they designed the first attempt to apply some of the original ideas from the theory to a real-world university setting, at the University of Michigan, and he has been a part of or reviewed many other more recent applications and extensions of this work. He also is aware of the limitations of the theory and research, in a way that many others are not. Dr. Spencer knows the literature on this important, and somewhat controversial, phenomenon about as well as anyone in the world, and he will be more than happy to field questions or have discussions with anyone interested in talking with him after the talk.

“A Washington Post article published just a couple of days ago includes discussion of what I assume will be some of the work he’ll be presenting tomorrow – here’s the link to the article:”

Washington Post Article

Post-Presentation Forum on Steven Spencer

February 5, 2009 at 5:00 PM at Greylock Classroom A

Host: Lili Rodriguez ’01, Associate Director of Admissions/Director of Diversity Recruitment