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ERIC Number: EJ1156682
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1469-7874
Stereotype Threat, Anxiety, Instructor Gender, and Underperformance in Women
Kapitanoff, Susan; Pandey, Carol
Active Learning in Higher Education, v18 n3 p213-229 Nov 2017
Whatever their major, students are often required to take at least one course in statistics. After graduation, statistics is a key skill in numerous workplace settings. However, for many, it is a particularly difficult course. One factor that may play a role is the lingering misconception that women are not as good as men in mathematics subjects such as statistics. Belief in this gender stereotype can lead women to avoid taking this class and ultimately could contribute to their underrepresentation in many professions. Instructor gender may also be a factor that affects student performance. This study examined whether a female role model would reduce the detrimental effects of a gender/mathematics stereotype threat in women and improve their academic performance and retention rate. Several types of anxiety were measured to determine what aspects of anxiety might be most relevant to stereotype threat. For men, anxiety and performance were not related to the gender of their instructor or endorsement of the gender/mathematics stereotype. For women, mathematics anxiety and anxiety-about-the-specific-class were related to their endorsement of the stereotype. Having a female instructor initially led to higher rates of underperformance on the first examination among women as compared to men. Continued interaction with a female role model, however, reduced this deficit for women by the end of the semester. Understanding this process may help educators better prepare women for success in both academia and the professional world.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Test Anxiety Inventory; State Trait Anxiety Inventory
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A