Claude Steele

  • Renowned Social Psychologist; Expert on Stereotype Theory, Race and Education
  • Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, UC Berkeley (2014-2016)
  • Professor, Department of Psychology & Graduate School of Education, UC Berkeley
  • Author of New York Times Bestseller, Whistling Vivaldi

Described by a peer as "the Albert Einstein of social psychology," Claude Steele is renowned for his research on stereotype threat and its inextricable links to race in America. His groundbreaking research sheds light on differences in academic and athletic performance in minority students, and the averse effects of stigmatization. His critically-acclaimed research became the basis for his New York Times Education Bestseller Whistling Vivaldi, a compelling look at race, stereotype and performance described as, "An intellectual odyssey of the first order―a true tour de force." 

A former Provost of Columbia University and Dean for the School of Education at Stanford University, Steele has been responsible for implementing academic policies at some of the country's most prestigious institutions. He also served as a faculty member at Stanford University, holding appointments as the director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and as director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

Heralded for applying his academic work to problems of major societal significance, and for his ability to break down complex social science theories for any audience, Steele has been sought-out to discuss issues of diversity, race and education at everywhere from Ivy League institutions to prestigious forums. 

 
  

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A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Claude Steele
  • National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
  • Family Action Network
  • Stanford University
  • WGBHForum
  • Cornell University
  • Columbia University
  • Brown University
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education
Impact of Stereotype Threat on Achievement- Cornell University - Get Sharable Link
Impact of Stereotype Threat on Achievement- Cornell University
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Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do- Family Action Network
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Race, Policing, & Public Health Symposium- Stanford University
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Diversity & Inclusion Lecture Series- Brown University
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Stereotype Threat- Distinctive Voices
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Stereotype Threat, Race and Realities of Today's America

Internationally renowned social psychologist Claude Steele explores his groundbreaking research on stereotypes, identity and race in America. Steele's work reveals that even when stereotypes are not uttered aloud, the phenomenon of stereotype threat, or the fear of confirming a negative stereotype, ...

Internationally renowned social psychologist Claude Steele explores his groundbreaking research on stereotypes, identity and race in America. Steele's work reveals that even when stereotypes are not uttered aloud, the phenomenon of stereotype threat, or the fear of confirming a negative stereotype, can be a stigma that affects attitudes and behaviors.  From racial gaps in test scores, to the belief of the athletic prowess of black men, Steele reveals how stigmatized expectations are linked to actual performance. Delving into his personal experience growing up in segregated Chicago, Steele provides a powerful exploration of the racial and social realities of America today. Ultimately, he lays out a plan to mitigate stereotype threats and shares how we can promote communities of diversity and inclusion. 

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<p>Claude Steele's Whistling Vivaldi makes headlines and receives rave reviews </p>

Claude Steele's Whistling Vivaldi makes headlines and receives rave reviews 

Internationally renowned social psychologist Claude Steele's Whistling Vivaldi is a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotype threats. Shedding new light on how stereotypes affect students' academic and athletic performance, Steele's work reveals powerful racial and social realities of America. A New York Times Education Bestseller, Whistling Vivaldi is the first work of its kind, and has earned earned critical praise: “Startles, beguiles, and challenges as it exposes the myriad ways that threats to our identities exert a powerful stranglehold on our individual and collective psyche” (Lani Guinier, Harvard University); An intellectual odyssey of the first order―a true tour de force” (William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton University). Steele's groundbreaking stereotype theory also generated headlines in Phys.org, Forbes, and resulted in an interview on NPR. 

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Biography

Claude Mason Steele, a social psychologist, began his tenure as the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at UC Berkeley on March 31, 2014. His groundbreaking research addresses some of the most pressing contemporary problems in American society.

Reporting to and working in close partnership with the Chancellor, the EVCP plays a critical role in developing and implementing UC Berkeley's vision and priorities and is the Chancellor's leading senior executive responsible for their execution and implementation.

As the chief academic officer of the Berkeley campus, the EVCP has leadership responsibility for the planning, development, implementation, assessment and improvement of all academic programs, policies and supporting infrastructure. In addition to serving as executive vice chancellor and provost, Steele has an appointment as Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Steele has published articles in numerous scholarly journals, including the American Psychologist, the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. His recent book, Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do, was published in 2010.

Claude M. Steele served as the I. James Quillen Dean for the School of Education at Stanford University from 2011 - 2014. As dean he led the school toward a deeper engagement in public education, including the renewal and expansion of a partnership between the school and the San Francisco Unified School District.

EVCP Steele's research focuses on the psychological experience of the individual and, particularly, on the experience of threats to the self and the consequences of those threats. His early work considered the self-image threat, self-affirmation and its role in self-regulation, the academic under-achievement of minority students, and the role of alcohol and drug use in self-regulation processes and social behavior. While at Stanford University, he further developed the theory of stereotype threat, designating a common process through which people from different groups, being threatened by different stereotypes, can have quite different experiences in the same situation. The theory has also been used to understand group differences in performance ranging from the intellectual to the athletic.

From 2009 - 2011, Steele served as the 21st Provost of Columbia University, where he led and implemented academic policies and plans for the university, including a major initiative to enhance support for the basic sciences. While at Columbia, he was responsible for managing the work of the university’s faculty, departments, research centers and institutes, as well as oversight of the university’s budget and financial planning.

Before joining Columbia University, he was a faculty member at Stanford University from 1991 - 2009, holding appointments as the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences, as director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and as director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He is recognized as a leader in the field of social psychology and for his commitment to the systematic application of social science to problems of major societal significance.

He was educated at Hiram College and at Ohio State University, where he received his PhD in psychology in 1971. Over the next 20 years, he taught at the University of Utah, the University of Washington and the University of Michigan. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, Yale University, Princeton University, and from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

EVCP Steele has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Education, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He is a member of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Board of Directors, and the Board of the Russell Sage Foundation. He has received numerous fellowships and awards. He was the recipient of the Dean's Teaching Award from Stanford University. The American Psychological Association has bestowed on him the Senior Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest and the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award (1998). The American Psychological Society presented him with the William James Fellow Award for Distinguished Scientific Career Contribution (2000). The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues awarded him the Gordon Allport Prize in Social Psychology (1997) and the Kurt Lewin Memorial Award (1998). He received the Donald Campbell Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (2001).