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Modeling gender counter-stereotypic group behavior: a brief video intervention reduces participation gender gaps on STEM teams

  • Neil A. LewisJr.Email author
  • Denise Sekaquaptewa
  • Lorelle A. Meadows
Article

Abstract

In STEM project group teams, men speak for more time (Meadows and Sekaquaptewa, in: Proceedings of ASEE annual conference, 2011) and engage in more active technical participation than women, which can have negative long-term consequences (Cheryan et al. in Psychol Bull 143:1–35, 2017; Lord et al. in IEEE Trans Educ 54(4):610–618, 2011). In the current study, we tested the effects of a brief counter-stereotypic video intervention on gender gaps in verbal participation on mixed-gender teams of STEM students (N = 143). Participants viewed either a control video of an engineering student team behaving in a gender stereotype-consistent way (men talked longer and presented more technical information than women) in a group presentation and group interview, or a gender counter-stereotypic intervention version (roles reversed) prior to engaging in their own STEM group project task in a laboratory setting. Analysis of video footage of the groups showed that men spoke longer than women in the control condition, but men and women spoke for equal time in the intervention condition. This result was corroborated by participants’ self-report of their verbal participation in their group.

Keywords

Teaching intervention Group dynamics Behavior change STEM Stereotypes 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to recognize the contributions of the following individuals who served as research assistants for this project: Sophie Bright, Haben Debassai, Jenna Dehne, Nader Hakim, Katie Hu, Laura Knutilla, Subramonian Mahadevan, Adrianna Pierce, Golnoosh Rasoulifar, Kelsey Reimenschneider, Jennifer Schoenberger, Linsa Varghese, Julianne Vernon, and Jakob Williams. This study was funded by the National Science Foundation, Grant No. 1137031. “Research Initiation Grant: Developing strategies to improve women’s active participation in engineering student group project teams.” D. Sekaquaptewa, co-PI, with L. A. Meadows, co-PI.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they had no conflicts of interest with respect to their authorship or the publication of this article.

Supplementary material

11218_2019_9489_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (208 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 207 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication, Center for Health Equity, Center for the Study of Inequality, Roper Center for Public Opinion ResearchCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Pavlis Honors CollegeMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA

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