Female mathematicians: Do negative thoughts perpetuate the negative stereotype?

Kylie Zijp (2010). Female mathematicians: Do negative thoughts perpetuate the negative stereotype? Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Kylie Zijp
Thesis Title Female mathematicians: Do negative thoughts perpetuate the negative stereotype?
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Courtney von Hippel
Total pages 68
Abstract/Summary The knowledge of a stereotype and worrying someone will judge you on the basis of it, is known as stereotype threat. This effect has been found to hinder the performance of individuals. One example is that when females are reminded that their gender is stereotypically inferior to males in mathematics they will subsequently perform worse than females not reminded of the stereotype. The current study examined the underlying mechanism of rumination on stereotype in women who study mathematics of mathematically related areas. Amongst a sample of 80 participants, 60 were exposed YouTube video clip that was intended to provoke stereotype threat. These participants who watched the YouTube video clip were then either required to ruminate on the negative stereotype, distracted with irrelevant material or not given any task. Thereafter, a mental rotation was completed by all 80 participants. It was hypothesised that overall, participants in the stereotype threat conditions would show performance decrements compared to participants in the control condition. Amongst the three stereotype threat conditions, it was predicted those required to ruminate would perform the worse, those distracted would perform the best and those not required to do either would perform somewhere in between. The results of the study show partial support for these hypotheses. The implications of these results are discussed.

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Created: Wed, 06 Apr 2011, 11:31:43 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology