Removing stereotype threat substantially boosts women`s spatial

Report
REMOVING STEREOTYPE THREAT
David Miller
Meta-analysis
finds removing
stereotype
threat
substantially
boosts women’s
spatial
performance
Association for
Psychological
Science
Chicago, IL,
May 27 th , 201 2
SPATIAL STEREOT YPES?
Google “women driving”
Google “men driving”
SPATIAL GENDER DIFFERENCES
 Samples in the US and Germany perceived men as better at
“imaging abstract objects and rotating them mentally in all
directions” (Halpern et al., 2011; Haussmann et al., 2009)
Mental rotation
Gender
d = 0.67
(Voyer et
al., 1995)
Spatial perception
Gender
d = 0.57
(Collaer et
al., 2007)
STEREOT YPE THREAT
 Stereotypes can harm academic performance (e.g., Steele &
Aronson, 1995)
 Stereotype threat (ST) = concern about confirming a
negative stereotype about one’s social group (e.g., gender)
 But why focus on the spatial domain?
(many studies here)
(not as many; they
are more recent)
INTEREST FOR SPATIAL THINKING
Understand spatial gender differences
 Perhaps not most important question
Change spatial gender differences
(e.g., Miyake et al., 2010)
 Wai et al. (2009) found
that 45% of all STEM
PhDs were within the
top 4% of spatial skills
in high school
 Training spatial skills ->
improved STEM
achievement (Miller &
Halpern, in press; Sorby,
2009)
INTEREST FOR SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Role of working memory (confirmatory stage)
(e.g., Beilock et al., 2007)
 Recruits verbal strategies
 Recruits spatial strategies
 ST activation impaired
female per formance
 No ST activation ef fect
Role of gender beliefs (exploratory stage)
Navigation S
Math S
General
Spatial S
?
?
?
How
?
Mental rotation
gender belief
Spatial ST
CURRENT META -ANALYSIS
ST removal
ST
activation
 Practical: ST removal is most important to education
 Theoretical: ST activation could introduce new ef fects
not found in diagnostic control conditions
 Empirical: ST activation ef fects did not show
consistent ef fects
METHOD
 Search literature databases (e.g., PsycINFO, Google Scholar,
PROQUEST) and examine each article’s reference list
Example
Description
Moe &
Pazzaglia
(2006)
Refute stereotype
This test measures
spatial abilities.
Research showed
that men perform
better than women
in this test
This test measures
spatial abilities.
Research showed that
spatial ability is very
important in everyday
life
Huguet &
Regner
(2007)
Make stereotype
irrelevant; diagnostic
manipulation
This test measures
your ability in
drawing
This test measures
your ability in
geometry
List three reasons
why one might
attend a private
liberal arts college
List three reasons why
one might prefer living
in the Northeast to
other parts of the U.S.
McGlone & Prime a positive
Aronson
stereotype
(2006)
Exp. condition
Control condition
 Walton and Cohen (2003) argued “refute stereotype” and
“make stereotype irrelevant” are conceptually similar
INCLUDED STUDIES
Study
N
Participants
Spatial Measure
Brownlow et al. (2011)
96
US college students
Mental rotation
Campbell & Collaer (2009)
124
US college students
Spatial perception
Fancher (2008)
32
US college students
Mental rotation &
spatial perception
Huguet & Regner (2007), study 1
40
French high school students
Spatial memory
Huguet & Regner (2007), study 2
454
French high school students
Spatial memory
Huguet & Regner (2009)
199
French high school students
Spatial memory
Martens et al. (2006)
105
US college students
Mental rotation
Moe (2009)
108
Italian high school students
Mental rotation
McGlone & Aronson (2006)
60
US college students
Mental rotation
Moe & Pazzaglia (2006)
134
Italian high school students
Mental rotation
Titze et al. (2010)
168
German children
Mental rotation
Wraga et al. (2006)
50
US college students
Perspective taking
Wraga et al. (2007)
30
US college students
Perspective taking
TOTAL
1,600
RESULTS
A ggregate d = 0.52
0.8
Stereotype refuted or made irrelevant
Positive identity intervention
Effect Size (d)
0.6
d = 0.30
0.4
Only 3
studies!!
0.2
0
-0.2
-0.4
d = -0.27
Men
Women
Effect
Comparison
effect sizes:
d
Reference
ST Removal - Women
0.52 Here
Spatial Training
0.47
Gender & Mental Rotation
0.67 Voyer et al., 1995
Uttal et al., in press
BROADER IMPLICATIONS
LIMITATIONS & FUTURE RESEARCH
Limitations
 Publication bias
 Longevity of effects
 Application to field contexts
 Assessments themselves
(Miyake et al., 2010, Science)
Recommendations for future research
 Focus on threat removal, not activation
 More research needed on positive-identity interventions
 Investigate role of spatial working memory and gender beliefs
 Apply to field settings and determine longitudinal effects

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