Sunday, 24 July 2016


                  BLACK  SOCIAL  HISTORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Claude Steele
Claude Mason Steele
Claude Steele - TeachAIDS Interview (19719334549).jpg
Born January 1, 1946 (age 70)
Phoenix, Illinois
Fields Psychology (Social)
Institutions University of Utah
University of Washington
University of Michigan
Stanford University
Columbia University
University of California, Berkeley
Alma mater Hiram College (BA)
Ohio State University (PhD)
Doctoral advisor Thomas Ostrom
Known for Stereotype threat, self-affirmation
Influences Kenneth Clark, Ralph Cebulla, Thomas Ostrom
Claude Mason Steele (born January 1, 1946) is an African-American social psychologist. He was the executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, Berkeley.[1]

He was the I. James Quillen Dean at the Stanford Graduate School of Education,[2] and professor emeritus in psychology at Stanford.[3] He served as the 21st provost of Columbia University for two years. Before that, he had been a professor of psychology at various institutions for almost 40 years.

He is best known for his work on stereotype threat and its application to minority student academic performance.[4] His earlier work dealt with research on the self (like self-image and self-affirmation)[5][6] as well as the role of self-regulation in addictive behaviors.[7]

In 2010, he released his book, Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us, summarizing years of research on stereotype threat and the underperformance of minority students in higher education.[8]

1 Education and early life
2 Career
3 Research
3.1 Addictive behaviors
3.2 Self-affirmation
3.3 Stereotype threat
4 Whistling Vivaldi
5 Controversy
6 Personal life
7 Teaching and administrative appointments
8 Awards and honors
9 Memberships
10 Article

Education and early life
Steele was born on January 1, 1946, to parents Ruth (social worker) and Shelby (truck driver) near Chicago in Phoenix, Illinois, during the Civil Rights Movement. Claude recalls his black family[9] (including his twin brother, Shelby Steele, and two other siblings) as being deeply interested in social issues and the civil rights movement, as they were very much on American minds at the time.[10] Steele remembers his father taking him and his brother to marches and rallies whenever possible.[11] His father pushed him to achieve security in the context of securing employment, but Claude construed achievement as success in education.[9] He enrolled at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, where he earned a B.A. in psychology in 1967.

At Hiram College, Steele's passion for reading novels led to an interest in how the individual faces the social world.[9] After being fully immersed in the Civil Rights Movement and the issues of racial equality, rights, and the nature of prejudice as a child, Steele formed a desire to study the topics in a scientific manner. He was especially keen to discover their effects on social relationships and quality of life.[12] Steele was inspired by African-American social psychologist Kenneth Clark’s TV appearance discussing the psychological implications of the 1964 race riots in Harlem, New York City,[10] which led to doing behavioral research. Steele conducted early experimental research at Hiram College in physiological psychology (looking at behavioral motives in Siamese fighting fish) and social psychology (studying how African-American dialect among kids maintains ethnic/racial identity),[9] where he worked under the mentorship of social psychologist, Ralph Cebulla.

In graduate school,he studied social psychology, earning an M.A. in 1969 and a Ph.D. in 1971 at Ohio State University, with a minor in statistical psychology. His dissertation work, with faculty adviser Tom Ostrom at Ohio State, focused on attitude measurement and attitude change.

After receiving his PhD, Steele got his first job as an assistant professor of psychology for two years at the University of Utah. He then moved to the University of Washington for 14 years and received tenure in 1985.

In 1987, he moved to the University of Michigan, where he was professor of psychology for four years. During the last two years, he simultaneously held the position of research scientist at Michigan's Institute for Social Research.

In 1991, he moved to Stanford University, where he was professor of psychology for eighteen years, receiving the title of Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences in 1997. At Stanford, he also served as chair of the Department of Psychology (1997–2000), director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (2002–2005), and director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2005–2009), among various other positions.

In 2009, he left Stanford to become the 21st provost and chief academic officer at Columbia University for two years. He was responsible for faculty appointments tenure recommendations and overseeing financial planning and budgeting.[13]

In 2011, he left Columbia and returned to Stanford, where he served as the I. James Quillen Dean for the Stanford Graduate School of Education. In March 2014, he became the executive vice chancellor and provost of the University of California, Berkeley.[14] He stepped down in April 2016, allegedly for family reasons, shortly after a scandal erupted regarding the university's disregard for sexual harassment.[15]

Throughout his academic career, his work fell into three main domains of research under the broad subject area of social psychology: stereotype threat, self-affirmation, and addictive behaviors. Although separate and distinct, the three lines of research are linked by their shared focus on self-evaluation and how people cope with threats to their self-image and self-identities.[10]

Addictive behaviors
Although many people primarily associate Steele with his significant contributions in the development of stereotype threat research, the 14 years of his post-doctoral academic career that he spent at the University of Washington were focused on addictive behaviors and the social psychology behind alcohol use and addiction. He was interested in the role of alcohol and drug use in self-regulation processes and social behavior. Among his major findings were that alcohol myopia, the cognitive impairment by alcohol use, reduces cognitive dissonance,[16] leads to more extreme social responses,[17] increases helping behavior,[18] reduces anxiety when it is combined with a distracting activity,[19] and enhances important self-evaluations.[7]

Self-affirmation While studying the effects of alcohol use on social behavior, Steele was formulating a theory about the effects of self-affirmation.[10] Developed in the 1980s, self-affirmational processes referred to the ability to reduce threats to self-image by stepping back and affirming a value that is important to self-concept.[6]

Steele often uses the example of smokers who are told that smoking will lead to significant negative health outcomes. The perception that they may be evaluated negatively by their willingness to engage in negative behaviors threatens their self-image. However, affirming a value in a domain completely unrelated to smoking but important to one’s self-concept: joining a valued cause, or accomplishing more at work, will counter the negative effects of the self-image threat and re-establish self-integrity.[6]

Self-affirmation theory was originally formulated as an alternative motivational explanation for cognitive dissonance theory that threats to the self led to a change in attitudes rather than psychologically inconsistent ideas, and self-affirmational strategies can reduce dissonance as effectively as attitude change.[20]

His research on self-affirmation and its effects demonstrated the power of self-affirmation to reduce biased attitudes,[21] lead to positive health behaviors,[22] and even improve the academic performance of minority students.[23]

Stereotype threat
Steele is best known for his work on stereotype threat and its application to explain real-world problems such as the underperformance of female students in mathematics and science classes[24] as well as black students in academic contexts.[4] Steele first began to explore the issues surrounding stereotype threat at the University of Michigan, when his membership on a university committee called for him to tackle the problem of academic underachievement of minority students at the university.[8] He discovered that the dropout rate for black students was much higher than for their white peers even though they were good students and had received excellent SAT scores. That led him to form a hypothesis involving stereotype threat.[25]

Stereotype threat refers to the threat felt in particular situations in which stereotypes relevant to one's collective identity exist, and the mere knowledge of the stereotypes can be distracting enough to negatively affect performance in a domain related to the stereotype.[4]

Steele has demonstrated the far-reaching implications of stereotype threat by showing that it is more likely to undermine the performance of individuals highly invested in the domain being threatened,[26] and that stereotype threat can even lead to blacks having significant negative health outcomes.[27]

The theories of stereotype threat can be applied for better understanding roup differences in performance not only in intellectual situations but so in athletics.[28]

Steele has spearheaded many successful interventions aimed at reducing the negative effects of stereotype threat, including how to provide critical feedback effectively to a student under the effects of stereotype threat,[29] inspired by the motivating style of feedback of his graduate school adviser, Ostrom,[8] and how teacher practices can foster a feeling of identity safety. That would improve performance outcomes by elementary school minority students.[30]

Whistling Vivaldi
In 2010, Steele published his first book, Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us,[8] as part of the Issues of Our Time series of books[31] exploring timely issues from the voices of modern intellectuals. Whistling Vivaldi focuses on the phenomenon of stereotype threat as it explains the trend of minority underperformance in higher education.

In his book, Steele discusses how identity contingencies or the cues in an environment that signal particular stereotypes attached to an aspect of one's identity can have a drastic negative effect on a person’s functioning and how the effects can explain racial and gender performance gaps in academic performance.

Steele also offers a host of strategies for reducing stereotype threat and enhancing minority student performance; he hopes that society's knowledge of stereotype threat will lead to understanding and accepting diverse groups' differences.

In March 2016, Steele found himself at the center of a controversy involving the sexual harassment of employees by Sujit Choudhry. Steele had been charged with managing the investigation into Choudhry. It was revealed that Steele had been particularly lenient with Choudhry by allowing him to retain his position as Dean despite finding that Choudhry had violated the University's policies on sexual harassment.

The lenient treatment, coupled with an appointment to the Law School faculty while the investigation was under way, led some to accuse Steele of being lenient in exchange for a lucrative appointment.[32] University officials denied the allegations.[33]

Steele resigned his position as Vice Provost on April 15, 2016.

Personal life
Steele lives with his wife, Dorothy Munson Steele, and children in California. Claude and Dorothy have been known to collaborate on projects dedicated to prejudice in American society[34] and minority student achievement.[30] His twin brother, Shelby Steele, is a conservative writer and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.[35]

Teaching and administrative appointments
1971-1973 Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Utah
1973-1987 Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Washington
1987-1991 Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan
1989-1991 Research Scientist, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
1991-2009 Professor of Psychology, Stanford University
1996-1997 President, Western Psychological Association
1997-2000 Chair, Department of Psychology, Stanford University
1997-2009 Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences, Stanford University
2002-2005 Director, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stanford University
2002-2003 President, Society for Personality and Social Psychology
2009-2011 Provost of Columbia University
2011-2014 Dean, Stanford Graduate School of Education
2014–2016 Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, University of California, Berkeley
Awards and honors
1994-1995 Cattell Faculty Fellowship, the James McKeen Cattell Fund
1995 Dean’s Teaching Award, Stanford University
1996 Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
1997 Gordon Allport Prize in Social Psychology, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
1998 Elected to the National Academy of Education
2000 William James Fellow Award for Distinguished Scientific Career Contribution, American Psychological Society
2001 Donald Campbell Award, Society for Personality and Social Psychology
2002 Kurt Lewin Memorial Award, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
2002 Senior Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest, American Psychological Association
2003 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, American Psychological Association
2003 Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
2004 Columbia Teachers College Medal for Distinguished Service
2007 Distinguished Scientific Impact Award, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. (For “Threat in the Air”[36])
2007 Presidential Citation, American Psychological Association
2008 Elected to the American Philosophical Society
Received honorary doctorates from: University of Chicago, Yale University, Princeton University, University of Michigan, and University of Maryland, Baltimore.
American Academy of Education
National Academy of Sciences
American Philosophical Society
Board, Social Science Research Council
Board of Directors, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
National Science Board