Bending the Arc of Human Potential: What’s Stigma Got to Do with It?

Psychologists define structural stigma as the societal-level conditions, cultural norms, and institutional policies that constrain the opportunities, resources and well-being of the stigmatized. Stigmatized groups often experience scarcity, not only of material resources, but fundamentally, scarcity of positive regard which can threaten physical as well as psychological safety.  Social scientists have shown that cognitive bandwidth (i.e., problem-solving capacity) is compromised by scarcity. Yet research has also shown that psychologically-based interventions can reduce the “bandwidth tax” that stigmatized students are paying and improve academic performance.  What should we do differently to allow stigmatized students to demonstrate fully what they know and can do? Join psychologists and educators Geoffrey Cohen, Cia Verschelden and Beverly Daniel Tatum for a discussion of strategies for mitigating the cost of stigma in educational settings.

Moderator: Beverly Tatum


Geoff Cohen

Cia Verschelden