Columbia Provost Claude Steel to receive 2010 Morton Deutsch Award for Distinguished Contributions to Social Justice.
By Juliette de WolfeClaude M. Steele is the twenty-first Provost of Columbia University, as well as a Professor of Psychology. 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. His 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.