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Randomized Controlled Trial
, 330 (6008), 1234-7

Reducing the Gender Achievement Gap in College Science: A Classroom Study of Values Affirmation

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Randomized Controlled Trial

Reducing the Gender Achievement Gap in College Science: A Classroom Study of Values Affirmation

Akira Miyake et al. Science.

Abstract

In many science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines, women are outperformed by men in test scores, jeopardizing their success in science-oriented courses and careers. The current study tested the effectiveness of a psychological intervention, called values affirmation, in reducing the gender achievement gap in a college-level introductory physics class. In this randomized double-blind study, 399 students either wrote about their most important values or not, twice at the beginning of the 15-week course. Values affirmation reduced the male-female performance and learning difference substantially and elevated women's modal grades from the C to B range. Benefits were strongest for women who tended to endorse the stereotype that men do better than women in physics. A brief psychological intervention may be a promising way to address the gender gap in science performance and learning.

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