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ERIC Number: EJ1005201
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 58
ISSN: ISSN-0361-6843
Enduring Influence of Stereotypical Computer Science Role Models on Women's Academic Aspirations
Cheryan, Sapna; Drury, Benjamin J.; Vichayapai, Marissa
Psychology of Women Quarterly, v37 n1 p72-79 Mar 2013
The current work examines whether a brief exposure to a computer science role model who fits stereotypes of computer scientists has a lasting influence on women's interest in the field. One-hundred undergraduate women who were not computer science majors met a female or male peer role model who embodied computer science stereotypes in appearance and stated interests or the same role model who did not embody these stereotypes. Participants and role models engaged in an interaction that lasted approximately 2 minutes. Interest in majoring in computer science was assessed following the interaction and 2 weeks later outside the laboratory. Results revealed that exposure to the stereotypical role model had both an immediate and an enduring negative effect on women's interest in computer science. Differences in interest at both times were mediated by women's reduced sense of belonging in computer science upon interacting with the stereotypical role model. Gender of the role model had no effect. Whether a potential role model conveys to women a sense of belonging in the field may matter more in recruiting women into computer science than gender of the role model. Long-term negative effects of exposure to computer scientists who fit current stereotypes in the media and elsewhere may help explain current gender disparities in computer science participation. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A