I think the explanations given below are wrong and that anxiety created by having their castes revealed made it more difficult for the low caste boys to fully utilize their intelligence. From http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cach..." "Priyanka Pandey"&cd=14&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us For their experiments, Hoff and Pandey recruited boys of middle-school age in rural Uttar Pradesh. The children belonged to a cross-section of castes - Brahmin, Thakur and Vaishya high castes and Chamar low castes. They were divided equally into high and low castes, with Thakurs being predominant among the high castes. An instructor taught everyone how to solve a series of mazes, each for a cash reward of Re 1 per maze. Then they were sorted into groups of six each, with three high caste boys and three lower caste boys, and asked to solve as many mazes as possible within a given time allocation. The experiment was conducted over three rounds, with each boy participating in only one round. However, the results are robust since boys are allotted rounds randomly. * In the first round of games, the boys did not know each other's identity, and did not think that the experimenters knew it either. * In the second round of games, Hoff and Pandey publicly announced each boy's identity - name, village, father's and grandfather's name and caste. The boys were still in the original groups of three high caste and three low caste each. * Finally, in the third round of games, Hoff and Pandey segregated the boys by caste. The sorting is meant to invoke a sense of being "out-casted", (segregated on the basis of caste) for the low caste boys. What were the results of the boys' maze solving? Compared to first round where caste was not announced, low caste boys saw their performance drop by 25% in the second round. In the last round constructed to evoke outcaste, low caste boys performed 39% worse than in first round. Most significantly, in the first round of games when the children did not know each other's identity, the performance of both high and low caste boys was statistically the same. What is the explanation for these results? One of Hoff and Pandey's conjectures is a social expectation that "the system" is biased. As long as no one knew their identity, participants could believe that the experimenters would treat them no differently from anyone else. But when the researchers publicly announced castes, then low-caste boys thought that the promised rewards will not be fairly paid out because of what they have heard about upper-caste treatment in the past and their own experiences with upper-castes in the present. Given this mistrust, the boys' own motivation for performing well are also lower. A second explanation is that lower caste children, fearing stereotyping, suffer from diminished self-confidence when their lower social status is publicly announced. This is a weaker explanation, since the announcement of caste did not correspondingly improve the performance of high caste boys. Instead, high caste performance after announcement of identity fell slightly. This led researchers to conclude that high caste boys disengage rather than compete across the social divide, possibility due to arrogance for their higher social status.