"In Whistling Vivaldi, renowned social psychologist Claude M. Steele addresses one of the most perplexing social issues of our time: the trend of minority underperformance in higher education. With strong evidence showing that the problem involves more than weaker skills, Steele explores other explanations. Here he presents an insider's look at his research and details his groundbreaking findings on stereotypes and identity, findings that will deeply alter the way we think about ourselves, our abilities, and our relationships with each other." "Through dramatic personal stories, Steele shares the researcher's experience of peering beneath the surface of our ordinary social lives to reveal what it's like to be stereotyped based on our gender, age, race, class, or any of the ways by which we culturally classify one another. What he discovers is that this experience of "stereotype threat" can profoundly affect our functioning: undermining our performance, causing emotional and physiological reactions, and affecting our career and relationship choices. But because these threats, though little recognized, are near-daily and life-shaping for all of us, the shared experience of them can help bring Americans closer together."--BOOK JACKET.