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Whistling Vivaldi

How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do
Narrated by: DeMario Clarke
Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Summary

The acclaimed social psychologist offers an insider’s look at his research and groundbreaking findings on stereotypes and identity.

Claude M. Steele, who has been called “one of the few great social psychologists,” offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity. He sheds new light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays out a plan for mitigating these “stereotype threats” and reshaping American identities.

©2010 Claude M. Steele (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Whistling Vivaldi

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An important work in our seeking an anti racist world.

Steele, an academic with strong research credentials documents the contingency, tax and identity fear true for all identity groups - and then demonstrates how we might hope to live with and eventually overcome them - as a society.

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BLM: requires education and challenge

That challenge starts with knowledge and learning. What are the challenges, are they obvious and visible or deeper? Is what you see in a situation what another sees or feels or perhaps subconsciously reacts? This book opened my eyes with context and information beyond the obvious; it will help me challenge myself, consider others and hopefully make a more positive in life whatever the situation... beyond stereotypes... but I’ll never master whistling Vivaldi!

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Wonderful

Heartbreaking reality about the Black population in the educational system in the US. Very interesting analysis of identity and belonging.

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  • Peter
  • 02-06-16

A must-read about the roll of stereotypes

I read this book, hoping to find suggestions and scientific results about the role of stereotypes in our society (in the US), and this book was a great place to start. The author doesn't just voice his opinion, but describes and gives results from painstakingly planned-out experiments that separate out how different groups of people do better and worse in academics, due to often subtle environmental cues that severely affect that performance.
Although I found listening to detailed scientific experiments a little heavy at times, it is so important to read and understand the conclusions that Steele found. As a parent of a girl, navigating her way through science and math, and an African American boy, navigating his way through academics in general, I am so glad I found this important book and educated myself on the effects of stereotypes on all of us.
I was impressed that the author didn't just discuss the effects of stereotypes on people of color, but also discussed testing on the effects of gender on female students' math performance, and why they might struggle in math classes when they are very intelligent and successful in non-math subjects.
Highly recommended. If the experiments weigh you down in listening, at least fast forward to the results so you can learn what they ultimately found.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jewel Felder-James
  • 29-10-17

Diversity treatment

Everyone should read this book it is solution based to our most important struggle in this country... stereotyping racial groups and it's effect on that group . It not only gives you studies that were performed this author also prescribed antidotes performed by him his colleagues and many other people who continue to educate others about this issue.

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  • Amy
  • 07-08-17

Great narration, great book

An interesting and important discussion for everyone! Well written, accessible (even as an audiobook!!!) and the narrator had a beautiful, expressive and appropriate voice. Recommended!

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  • Miranda Legg
  • 11-06-16

Wonderful!

I'm a sophomore psychology major, doing undergraduate research on stereotype threat and this book really helped introduce the topic to me!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-08-14

One of my recent favorites

Would you consider the audio edition of Whistling Vivaldi to be better than the print version?

Some books in this genre are not easily adapted to the audio format because of the need to look at charts/graphs or other visual information, but this book works well as an audio book!

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

This book is incredibly well–written and compelling. The author effectively communicates his ideas/the results of his research (macro) by providing explanations at the individual (micro) level.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 07-08-18

Social Psychological Look at Stereotype Threat

This book is an excellent look at stereotype threat - the awareness (subconscious and conscious) that we may be judged by stereotypes. Steele does an excellent job of pointing out how stereotypes influence all groups, and the physical and psychological measurable impacts that these stereotypes have on our daily lives.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Will C.
  • 28-03-17

An excellent primer on an important body of resear

If you could sum up Whistling Vivaldi in three words, what would they be?

Illuminates racial relations

What other book might you compare Whistling Vivaldi to and why?

Whistling Vivaldi is similar to other excellent psychology books written for the lay audience, such as Dan Gilbert's Stumbling on Happiness or Roy Baumeister's Willpower, in that it conveys a complex and important program of research in way that is engaging and accessible to a lay audience.

What does DeMario Clarke bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The reader does an excellent job, but in general I don't find that a reader can transform the experience of nonfiction in the same way as fiction.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Everyone's behavior is affected by stereotypes, both by those we ourselves hold about others and by the fear that others will see us through the lense of their own stereotypes.

Any additional comments?

Claude Steele's research on stereotype threat is groundbreaking, and I truly believe it's something everyone should be aware of. This book does an excellent job of explaining this body of work in a way that provides the reader with actionable information about their behavior.

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  • Michael
  • 25-09-20

Surprising, in a good way

This book really surprised me. I was not surprised that various subgroup react to various types of stereotype threat that may effect their performance. What seems amazing, and does seem to be demonstrated by reasonable experiments, is that the consequences of stereotype threat can be elevated by incredibly light interventions. For example if you tell a white guy this test measures "natural sports ability" they will do worse on the test. Black guy are not so effected. If you instead tell them the test measures "Sports intelligence" white guys do fine, while black guys choke. This book basically investigates how well, in what cases, and how long such interventions work. The experiments show the interventions work in quite a few cases and some for months, maybe even years. These experiments used tests that were designed to be unbiased and fairly measured. These techniques will not address unfair tests, unfair teachers, and unfair graders, but can help address performance difference due to stereotype threat. There is a lot more to understand here, but these experiments were quire surprising. Surprising repeatable experiments are the most important thing in science. This is a one-trick-pony but it is an interesting pony. I would recommend this book because everyone should at least be aware of these experiments and what they might mean. The narration was clear and understandable.

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  • Andrea
  • 28-08-20

Excellent resource

Highly recommend this audio book! for the content and the performance. It is worth the time.

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  • Keith Wilson
  • 27-07-20

Informative and helpful

I appreciated the thorough breakdown of the studies and how the findings were interpreted, as well as bringing in supporting studies. While I would have loved more advice on how to overcome these obstacles for my stereotyped students, what was given has gotten me thinking about how I can be aware of these in my classroom, and seeking out best practices to lessen their affects.