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Racial Identity, Performance, and Self-Confidence: A South African Experiment


Speaker:Patrick Nolen, University of Essex
Date: Friday 1 June 2007
Time: 16:15
Location: Lecture Room D, Streatham Court

Further details

Racial identity and its effect on one's performance or self-confidence have implications for how a student or parent invests in education, how social norms for different racial groups develop and why ex post differences between groups with similar ex ante ability may develop. In this paper we discuss the results of a South African experiment designed to test the effects of racial cuing on students aged 10 and 11. South Africa was chosen because of its racial diversity and divisive history. We find that, under cuing (i.e. in a racially charged environment), black and coloured students do worse when a white student is present. However they do better, in comparison to not being cued, when they are segregated. Self-confidence of black and coloured students in racially charged environments is higher despite the fact that they are doing worse. There is a significant difference between how boys and girls respond.