Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Seeing What’s Possible: Videos are more Effective than Written Portrayals for Enhancing the Relatability of Scientists and Promoting Black Female Students’ Interest in STEM

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Sex Roles Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Although interactions with Black female scientists can alter beliefs about STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and encourage Black female students’ interest in these fields, this strategy may overburden the few Black women working in STEM. To address this issue, we explored whether a brief video presentation of a Black female computer scientist would be an effective intervention compared to an identical written transcript. We found that participants from the general U.S. population (Experiments 1, n = 201, and 2, n = 745) and Black women U.S. students (Experiment 3, n = 217) perceived the computer scientist as warmer and felt more virtual connection (i.e., sense of friendship, identification) with the scientist in video compared to written format. The video also was more effective for promoting feelings of friendship with the scientist relative to audio alone or a written transcript with pictures (Experiment 2). Most importantly, Black female students who watched the video of the computer scientist reported greater interest in computer science compared to those who read about the computer scientist and those in a no narrative control condition (Experiment 3). The current findings not only demonstrate that videos are useful tools for diversity practitioners but also highlight the importance of representation in popular movies and TV shows.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Similar content being viewed by others

References

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Evava S. Pietri.

Ethics declarations

This research was conducted in compliance with APA standards regarding the treatment of human participants. All participants received an online informed consent form prior to taking part in the experiments, and were provided with a thorough debriefing.

This research was supported in part by the DRIVE grant from IUPUI Office of Vice Chancellor for Research awarded to the first author and by a Small Grant from the Spencer Foundation, awarded to the first and second author.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Charles Chu and Sana Majid were at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis when this research was conducted

Electronic supplementary material

ESM 1

(DOCX 32 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Pietri, E.S., Johnson, I.R., Majid, S. et al. Seeing What’s Possible: Videos are more Effective than Written Portrayals for Enhancing the Relatability of Scientists and Promoting Black Female Students’ Interest in STEM. Sex Roles 84, 14–33 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-020-01153-x

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-020-01153-x

Keywords

Navigation