, Volume 53, Issue 9-10, pp 703-716

Effects of Salient Multiple Identities on Women's Performance Under Mathematics Stereotype Threat

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Abstract

Previous research on affective extremity and social identity complexity suggested that women's mathematics stereotype threat might be alleviated by reminding individual women of their multiple roles and identities, most of which would presumably be unrelated and thus impervious to negative stereotypes regarding math performance. To test this hypothesis, we primed the relevant stereotype and then asked men and women college students to draw self-concept maps with many or few nodes. When they drew no maps or maps with few nodes, highly math-identified women scored significantly worse than highly math-identified men on a subsequent Graduate Record Examination-like math test, but when they drew maps with many nodes, they scored as well as those men. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.