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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2011 Feb;100(2):255-70. doi: 10.1037/a0021385.

STEMing the tide: using ingroup experts to inoculate women's self-concept in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, 135 Hicks Way, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA. jgstout@psych.umass.edu

Abstract

Three studies tested a stereotype inoculation model, which proposed that contact with same-sex experts (advanced peers, professionals, professors) in academic environments involving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) enhances women's self-concept in STEM, attitudes toward STEM, and motivation to pursue STEM careers. Two cross-sectional controlled experiments and 1 longitudinal naturalistic study in a calculus class revealed that exposure to female STEM experts promoted positive implicit attitudes and stronger implicit identification with STEM (Studies 1-3), greater self-efficacy in STEM (Study 3), and more effort on STEM tests (Study 1). Studies 2 and 3 suggested that the benefit of seeing same-sex experts is driven by greater subjective identification and connectedness with these individuals, which in turn predicts enhanced self-efficacy, domain identification, and commitment to pursue STEM careers. Importantly, women's own self-concept benefited from contact with female experts even though negative stereotypes about their gender and STEM remained active.

PMID:
21142376
DOI:
10.1037/a0021385
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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