Stereotype threat occurs when a person is in a situation where they are anxious that they may conform to a negative stereotype aimed at his or her social group. Stereotype threat stemming from beliefs about age and memory loss can hinder the performance of middle-agers and older people on memory tests. However, positive stereotypes, or success on previous memory tasks, can help combat this negativity. Oddly enough, stereotype threat has also been shown to improve performance when tasks are focused on losses rather than gains.
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