What are Negative Effects of Positive Stereotypes?

Some stereotypes have positive connotations (e.g., Black Americans being stereotyped as good athletes, women being stereotyped as caring). Asian Americans are often stereotyped as a “model minority,” or a group that has achieved success in the U.S. (Cheryan & Bodenhausen, Routledge Companion to Race and Ethnicity, 2011). Although this seems beneficial, there are negative consequences of being the recipient of a positive stereotype (Czopp, Kay, & Cheryan, Perspectives, 2015). For example, when White Americans state positive stereotypes to Asian Americans (e.g., “Asians are good at math”), Asian Americans experience negative interpersonal and emotional responses (Siy & Cheryan, PSPB, 2016). Positive stereotypes can be particularly harmful in American (versus Asian) cultural contexts because they cause people to feel that they are being reduced to their group memberships and denied their individuality (Siy & Cheryan, JPSP, 2013). Positive stereotypes may also place high expectations on group members, causing them to choke under pressure and underperform (Cheryan & Bodenhausen, Psych Sci, 2000)