Aug 6, 2009
How subliminals influence your ability

Exhibit A: When a group of Stanford undergraduates took a standardized test and were told that it was a measure of their intellectual ability, the white students did much better than their black counterparts. But when the same test was presented simply as an abstract laboratory tool, with no relevance to ability, the scores of blacks and whites were virtually identical. This is stereotype threat.

Exhibit B: Students were asked a series of brain teaser questions. One group of students was told that the questions were invented at their university; the other group was told they were invented in a far away university. Thinking that the test came from far away somehow raised the creativity of the subjects. This is psychological distance.

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