Social Psychology Network

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Claude Steele

Claude Steele

Claude M. Steele is the twenty-first Provost of Columbia University, as well as a Professor of Psychology.

He was educated at Hiram College and at Ohio State University, where he received his Ph.D. in psychology in 1971. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, Yale University, Princeton University, and from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

He taught at the University of Utah, the University of Washington, and the University of Michigan. Before joining the University, he was a faculty member at Stanford University, holding appointments as the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences, as Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and as the Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

He is recognized as a leader in the field of social psychology and for his commitment to the systematic application of social science to problems of major societal significance. His research focuses on the psychological experience of the individual and, particularly, on the experience of threats to the self and the consequences of those threats. His early work considered the self-image threat, self-affirmation and its role in self-regulation, the academic under-achievement of minority students, and the role of alcohol and drug use in self-regulation processes and social behavior. While at Stanford University, he further developed the theory of stereotype threat, designating a common process through which people from different groups, being threatened by different stereotypes, can have quite different experiences in the same situation. The theory has also been used to understand group differences in performance ranging from the intellectual to the athletic.

He has published articles in numerous scholarly journals, including the American Psychologist, The Journal of Applied Social Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. A book entitled Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us is forthcoming.

He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Education, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and to the American Philosophical Society.

He is a member of the Board of the Social Science Research Council and of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Board of Directors.

He has received numerous fellowships and awards. He was the recipient of the Dean’s Teaching Award from Stanford University. The American Psychological Association has bestowed on him the Senior Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest and the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award (1998). The American Psychological Society presented him with the William James Fellow Award for Distinguished Scientific Career Contribution (2000). The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues awarded him the Gordon Allport Prize in Social Psychology (1997) and the Kurt Lewin Memorial Award (1998). He received the Donald Campbell Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (2001).

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Causal Attribution
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Person Perception
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition

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Journal Articles:

  • Cohen, G., Steele, C. M., & Ross, L. D. (1999). The mentor's dilemma: Providing critical feedback across the racial divide. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 1302-1318.
  • Josephs, R. A., Larrick, R., Steele, C. M., & Nisbett, R. M. (1992). Self-esteem and risk aversion in decision-making. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62(1), 26-37.
  • Marx, D., Brown, J., & Steele, C. M. (1999). Allport and stereotype threat: On being the target of a negative stereotype. Journal of Social Issues, 55(3), 491-502.
  • Steele, C. M. (1997). A threat in the air: How stereotypes shape intellectual identity and performance. American Psychologist, 52, 613-629.
  • Steele, C. M., & Aronson, J. (1995). Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African-Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 797-811.
  • Steele, C. M., & Josephs, R. A. (1990). Alcohol myopia: Its prized and dangerous effects. American Psychologist, 45(8), 921-933.
  • Steele, C. M., Spencer, S. J., & Lynch, M. (1993). Self-image resilience and dissonance: The role of affirmational resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 885-896.

Other Publications:

  • Crocker, J., Major, B., & Steele, C. (1998). Social stigma. In D. Gilbert, S. T. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (4th ed., Vol. 2, pp. 504-553). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
  • Spencer, S. J., Josephs, R. A., & Steele, C. M. (1993). Low self-esteem: The uphill struggle for self-integrity. In R. F. Baumeister (Ed.), Self-esteem and the puzzle of low self-regard. New York: Wiley.
  • Steele, C. M. (1999, August). Thin ice: Stereotype threat and black college students. Atlantic Monthly, 284(2), 44-47, 50-54.
  • Steele, C. M. (1992, April). Race and the schooling of black Americans. The Atlantic Monthly, 68-78.
  • Steele, C. M., & Aronson, J. (1998). How stereotypes influence the standardized test performance of talented African American students. In C. Jencks & M. Phillips (Eds.), Black-White test score differences (pp. 401-427). Harvard Press.
  • Steele, C. M., & Aronson, J. (1998). Stereotype threat and the test performance of academically successful African Americans. In C. Jencks & M. Phillips (Eds.), Black-White test score gap. Brookings Institution Press.
  • Steele, C. M., & Aronson, J. (1994). Stereotype vulnerability and African-American intellectual performance. In E. Aronson (Ed.), Readings about the social animal. New York: Freeman & Co.
  • Steele, C. M., Spencer, S. J., Hummel, M., Schoem, D., Carter, K., Harber, K., & Nisbett, R. (1998). Improving minority performance: An intervention in higher education. In C. Jencks & M. Phillips (Eds.), Black-White test score differences. Harvard Press.

Claude Steele
Office of the Dean
School of Education
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305
United States

  • Phone: (650) 725-9090

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