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.
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One group only had three participants (the fourth person did not show up for the study). This group was excluded from analysis.
We were unable to assess speaking time for four teams (n =16 participants) because the microphone malfunctioned during recording and thus it was impossible to assess speaking time for those teams. Two of those teams (n = 8) were in the control condition and the other two (n = 8) were in the intervention condition. Therefore degrees of freedom will be lower in the observed verbal participation analysis than in the self-reported verbal participation analysis.
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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.
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Schematic of role model videos.
|Part 1: group presentation||Men and women in stereotypical roles||Men and women in counter-stereotypical roles|
|Men speak more than women||Women speak more than men|
|Men deliver technical content||Men deliver non-technical content|
|Women deliver non-technical content||Women deliver technical content|
|Part 2: interviews with presenters||Men and women discuss gender-neutral best practices for general teamwork||Men and women specifically address gender inequities and strategies for reducing them|
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Lewis, N.A., Sekaquaptewa, D. & Meadows, L.A. Modeling gender counter-stereotypic group behavior: a brief video intervention reduces participation gender gaps on STEM teams. Soc Psychol Educ 22, 557–577 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-019-09489-3
- Teaching intervention
- Group dynamics
- Behavior change