Automotive Holiday Deals Up to 50% Off Select Books Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Train egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grooming Deals Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Voyage Cyber Monday Sweepstakes in Prime Music Outdoor Deals on HTL
Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us (Issues of Our Time) Hardcover – April 12, 2010

125 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$55.46 $8.40

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews


“Conveys an understanding of why race remains such a powerful factor even in a society where racial discrimination is seen as abhorrent.” (Adam Serwer - American Prospect)

“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 and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Claude Steele is the provost of Columbia University. He is the author of numerous published articles and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Education, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Series: Issues of Our Time
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (April 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039306249X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393062496
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Coert Visser on May 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book by social psychologist and Columbia University provost, Claude Steele, is a splendid example of how psychologists can make valuable contributions to society. In the book, Steele writes about the work he and his colleagues have done on a phenomenon called stereotype threat, the tendency to expect, perceive, and be influenced by negative stereotypes about one's social category, such as one's age, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, profession, nationality, political affiliation, mental health status, and so on.

Experiments demonstrating the impact of stereotype threat
When trying to understand certain performance gaps between groups, Steele and his colleagues did not focus on internal psychological factors.. Instead, they tried to understand the possible causal role of identity contingencies, the things you have to deal with in a situation because you have a given social identity. Over the years they carried out a series of creative experiments* in which there was a control condition in which a task was given under normal conditions life. In the experimental condition, the identity contingency was either cleverly removed or it was deliberately induced. Here are three examples of experiments to clarify how they worked.

Experiment 1: Steele and Aronson (1995)
In this experiment the researchers had African American and white college students take a very challenging standardized test. In the control condition, the test was presented as these tests are always presented - as a measure of intellectual ability. This condition contained the stereotype that African Americans would be less intelligent. In the experimental condition the test was presented in a non-evaluative way.
Read more ›
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on May 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Whistling Vivaldi," a new study of cultural stereotypes by Claude M. Steele, is a surprising book. Within its pages, the highly thought-of social psychologist shows us how, even in the absence of explicit racism, negative stereotypes can continue to pervade American life, and have far-reaching influences on our behavior. Before writing it, Steele did more than two decades of systematic research of minority student performance, as well as a wide range of experiments on other situations where stereotypes can come into play. He also cites, in the book, many other experiments in social psychology that explored this and related subjects: many of which he apparently inspired.

Within these pages, Steele reveals the powerful, hidden "stereotype threat" that can lie within most competitive situations. He defines it as the great, but invisible pressure created by our fear of confirming negative cultural stereotypes about ourselves. He shows how it can affect white men racing against blacks, or playing basketball against them, when blacks are thought to be fleeter of foot. It can also affect white men competing against Asians in university settings. It can also be shown to affect highly-achieving women studying mathematics or sciences, who have internalized our culture's belief that women are naturally inferior to men in these areas. He also shows that it affects higher-ranking black students in our nation's elite colleges, and even its better-ranking high schools.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Robson on January 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a white man working around Asia, places like China, Korea and Japan, and wishing to stay here, I absolutely have to deal with the issue of race and stereotype. What may seem trivial now, as a single caucasian man, may at some point (eg. getting married, raising biracial children) become an issue for me and my family. And for anyone not living in Asia, there are class and racial divisions all over the world, as students and co-workers form cliques along predictable lines.

I remember in University, taking an Intermediate Mandarin class, where all the different ethnic and social groups would-unknowingly- cluster together perfectly: there were the white kids, the Chinese born Canadians, the Hong Kong kids, the Bi-racial kids, the Koreans, and some Philippinos. It was only several weeks into the class that I noticed these convenient groupings (I had done the exact same with my white friends). Were we racist? Were we trying to reject the other classmembers (and the Chinese teacher!)? Not at all. We enjoyed the arrangement, subconscious though it may have been.

But I do remember another class I took (briefly). It was an Asian studies course. There was one other white person in the class (phew!), and the goal of the class was to research the rich Asian influences in our community. This was a heavy course, and considered high-end credit, meaning very intensive projects. I was almost certain to be working later in Asia (that's why I signed up in the first place), but I felt like I shouldn't be there, and I felt like a fraud, that my research would be scrutinized, and my `findings' would be immediately dismissed, as they were coming from a Caucasian student.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse