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ERIC Number: EJ1110400
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Sep
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0007-0998
Creating a Critical Mass Eliminates the Effects of Stereotype Threat on Women's Mathematical Performance
Pennington, Charlotte R.; Heim, Derek
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v86 n3 p353-368 Sep 2016
Background: Women in mathematical domains may become attuned to situational cues that signal a discredited social identity, contributing to their lower achievement and underrepresentation. Aim: This study examined whether heightened in-group representation alleviates the effects of stereotype threat on women's mathematical performance. It further investigated whether single-sex testing environments and stereotype threat influenced participants to believe that their ability was fixed (fixed mindset) rather than a trait that could be developed (growth mindset). Sample and method: One hundred and forty-four female participants were assigned randomly to a self-as-target or group-as-target stereotype threat condition or to a control condition. They completed a modular arithmetic maths test and a mindset questionnaire either alone or in same-sex groups of 3-5 individuals. Results: Participants solved fewer mathematical problems under self-as-target and group-as-target stereotype threat when they were tested alone, but these performance deficits were eliminated when they were tested in single-sex groups. Participants reported a weaker growth mindset when they were tested under stereotype threat and in single-sex groups. Moreover, evidence of inconsistent mediation indicated that single-sex testing environments negatively predicted mindset but positively predicted mathematical performance. Conclusions: These findings suggest that single-sex testing environments may represent a practical intervention to alleviate stereotype threat effects but may have a paradoxical effect on mindset.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A