Robyn Hightower

Major and Classification


Faculty Mentors

  • Professor Brian Lickel


  • Psychology

McNair Project

“Different Identities and Individuals’ Beliefs About Careers and Race”

Negative stereotypes affect the way people view minority groups and the way minorities view themselves. The negative stereotypes that exist about minorities affect every aspect of society, including family dynamics, religious practices, education and occupations. I studied the effects that stereotypes have on minorities’ career goals. I hypothesized that college-attending minority students feel that negative stereotypes limit how they view certain occupations and how desirable they view those occupations. The sample of subjects consisted of 100 college students of all races and of both sexes. The students were randomly assigned to one of three conditions. In the first condition, a short questionnaire primed the students for their student identity. In the second condition, students were primed for their racial identity. Students in the last condition remained unprimed. Participants in all conditions filled out a career-assessing questionnaire. Upon completing the questionnaire, subjects completed Crocker’s race-based collective self-esteem measure. By studying the effects that negative stereotypes have on minority groups, I hope to further society’s understanding of the effects. Results from this study will lead to further research that will work to dispel negative stereotypes and, thereby, help create equality in the workforce.