Thursday, May 31, 2007


The Chicago Sun-Times reported an interesting story about stereotypes damaging a person's performance. A University of Chicago study shows that the popular stereotype of boys being better at math than girls affects girls' performance and ability to do math. The results were published in the current issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

In a nutshell, the study quantifies and clarifies the exact nature of how a stereotype negatively affects a person. The methodology, in a nutshell: Two groups of female college students with exemplary math skills were assembled. The first group took a pre-test and a test. The second group took the same tests, but between them, they were told that it was part of a study to determine why men were better at math than women. The women in the second group performed "drastically worse," according to the news release.

A couple of questions:

~ That stereotype is older than the '50s. Does anyone really believe men are better at math than women?

~ Where is the study about how men perform with the same kind of stereotype?

Thanks to Rudeclerk for the heads-up.

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