Reducing Gender Bias Against Women In STEM through Self-Affirmation and Persuasive Arguments
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Undergraduate Research Theses; 2019
As women continue to be highly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, there is a need for research on potential solutions to this gender gap. Although a number of studies have provided insights into such potential solutions, most of them have examined interventions designed to help women cope with the effects of stereotype threat. Relatively few studies have examined interventions designed to addresses the source stereotype threat. Previous research suggests that one source of stereotype threat for women in STEM is biased beliefs and behaviors of men in STEM (Logel et al., 2009) Thus, the present research examines a novel intervention to reduce men’s biases towards women in STEM. To do this, I used a combination of self-affirmation (i.e. reflecting on core values) and a strong persuasive appeal which challenge negative beliefs about women in STEM, in a 2 (self-affirmation vs. control) 2×2 (persuasive appeal vs. control article) between participants design. We recruited sixty-eight undergraduate male participants. Among those with high pre-intervention stereotype endorsement, the persuasive appeal was only effective if the participant had also been self- affirmed. It was not successful in reducing stereotype endorsement among non-affirmed participants. The discussion focuses on implications of these findings for reducing gender bias in STEM.
Academic Major: Psychology
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