Stereotype threat describes the experience of being viewed through the lens of a negative stereotype. This social psychological phenomenon demonstrates the deleterious effects that negative societal stereotypes can exert on performance. The current article provides a general overview of the past two decades of stereotype threat research, and highlights the generality of these effects across a diverse range of tasks and populations. This article also appraises critically the mechanisms that have been proposed to moderate and mediate stereotype threat effects, interventions developed to ameliorate it, and provides future avenues for research. This theory showcases the importance of recognising how our social world, and not inherent differences between groups, may underwrite social inequality. In addition to its contribution to the field of social psychology, this theory has far-reaching implications for schools and educational reform, particularly in reducing achievement gaps among minority groups.