Date of Publication

4-9-2013

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Laurel McNall, Associate Professor, Psychology

Abstract

Stereotype threat occurs when people have anxiety in a situation where they fear may conform to a negative stereotype about their group, which subsequently causes decreased performance. One well-known stereotype states women are not as skilled at math as men. The goal of the current study was to test how to reduce the effects of stereotype threat on women’s performance in mathematics. Fifty male and female college students completed a math test in either a control condition or in one of two stereotype threat reducing conditions (self-affirmation or teaching). Surprisingly, the results show there were no differences in test performance between the three conditions. This is contradictory to previous research; however more research is necessary to find ways to reduce stereotype threat.

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