Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - STEREOTYPE INFLUENCE (How and when do negative stereotypes about women's math ability affect their performance?)

The goal of this project was to understand gender differences in mathematics performance using the stereotype threat theory. According to this theory, when stereotypes are made relevant in a test-taking situation, the target individual may fear being viewed through the negative lens of the stereotype. This evaluative threat creates an extra pressure that hampers his/her performance. Results showed that females who are reminded of the gender differences existing in math performed lower than females who were not reminded of the stereotype, replicating the stereotype threat effect.

Moreover, our research also identified a strategy that may enable people to cope with stereotype threat: focusing on avoiding performing lower than others. Although this focus has generally detrimental consequences on performance - we showed that it does so by generating physiological anxiety - an important finding of this project is that in the particular situation of being threatened by a negative in-group stereotype, endorsing an avoidance goal may have positive consequences on performance.

Reported by

See on map