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David Miller Association for Psychological Science Chicago, IL, May 27 th, 2012 REMOVING STEREOTYPE THREAT Meta-analysis finds removing stereotype threat.

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Presentation on theme: "David Miller Association for Psychological Science Chicago, IL, May 27 th, 2012 REMOVING STEREOTYPE THREAT Meta-analysis finds removing stereotype threat."— Presentation transcript:

1 David Miller Association for Psychological Science Chicago, IL, May 27 th, 2012 REMOVING STEREOTYPE THREAT Meta-analysis finds removing stereotype threat substantially boosts women’s spatial performance

2 SPATIAL STEREOTYPES? Google “women driving”Google “men driving”

3 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)

4 STEREOTYPE THREAT  Stereotype threat (ST) = concern about confirming a negative stereotype about one’s social group (e.g., gender)  But why focus on the spatial domain?  Stereotypes can harm academic performance (e.g., Steele & Aronson, 1995) (not as many; they are more recent) (many studies here)

5 INTEREST FOR SPATIAL THINKING Understand spatial gender differences 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)  Perhaps not most important question

6 INTEREST FOR SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Role of working memory (confirmatory stage) (e.g., Beilock et al., 2007) Role of gender beliefs (exploratory stage)  Recruits verbal strategies  Recruits spatial strategies  ST activation impaired female performance  No ST activation effect Navigation S Math S General Spatial S Mental rotation gender belief Spatial ST How ? ? ? ?

7 CURRENT META-ANALYSIS  Practical: ST removal is most important to education  Theoretical: ST activation could introduce new effects not found in diagnostic control conditions  Empirical: ST activation effects did not show consistent effects ST removal ST activation

8 METHOD ExampleDescriptionExp. conditionControl condition Moe & Pazzaglia (2006) Refute stereotypeThis 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 McGlone & Aronson (2006) Prime a positive stereotype 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.  Search literature databases (e.g., PsycINFO, Google Scholar, PROQUEST) and examine each article’s reference list  Walton and Cohen (2003) argued “refute stereotype” and “make stereotype irrelevant” are conceptually similar

9 INCLUDED STUDIES StudyNParticipantsSpatial Measure Brownlow et al. (2011)96US college studentsMental rotation Campbell & Collaer (2009)124US college studentsSpatial perception Fancher (2008)32US college studentsMental rotation & spatial perception Huguet & Regner (2007), study 140French high school studentsSpatial memory Huguet & Regner (2007), study 2454French high school studentsSpatial memory Huguet & Regner (2009)199French high school studentsSpatial memory Martens et al. (2006)105US college studentsMental rotation Moe (2009)108Italian high school studentsMental rotation McGlone & Aronson (2006)60US college studentsMental rotation Moe & Pazzaglia (2006)134Italian high school studentsMental rotation Titze et al. (2010)168German childrenMental rotation Wraga et al. (2006)50US college studentsPerspective taking Wraga et al. (2007)30US college studentsPerspective taking TOTAL1,600

10 RESULTS Comparison effect sizes: Aggregate d = 0.52 EffectdReference ST Removal - Women0.52Here Spatial Training0.47Uttal et al., in press Gender & Mental Rotation0.67Voyer et al., 1995 d = d = 0.30 Only 3 studies!!

11 BROADER IMPLICATIONS

12 LIMITATIONS & FUTURE RESEARCH Limitations Recommendations for future research (Miyake et al., 2010, Science)  Publication bias  Longevity of effects  Application to field contexts  Assessments themselves  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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