From STEM to stern : a review and test of stereotype threat interventions on women's math performance and motivation

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


How do interventions vary in their ability to attenuate women's performance and motivational detriments in science and math triggered by gender related stereotype threat? This project was designed to review the interventions which have been empirically demonstrated to reduce stereotype threat, and then to test the relative effectiveness of these interventions on college women's math performance and motivation. In the phase one, a literature review was conducted to identify interventions which successfully reduced stereotype threat toward women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Interventions were then categorized into five types based on their common theoretical framework. Phase two was designed to experimentally test the relative effectiveness of the five types of interventions compared to women who did not receive any intervention and men. Although all interventions enhanced women's attitudes toward STEM (all ps < .05), results showed that value affirmation (a writing activity that focuses on self-values important to the target) was the only intervention to significantly improve both performance and motivation of women under stereotype threat. Implications for stereotype threat interventions and the manner in which they impact STEM test performance and motivation are discussed.




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