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. 2011 Feb;100(2):255-70.
doi: 10.1037/a0021385.

STEMing the Tide: Using Ingroup Experts to Inoculate Women's Self-Concept in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

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STEMing the Tide: Using Ingroup Experts to Inoculate Women's Self-Concept in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Jane G Stout et al. J Pers Soc Psychol. .

Abstract

Three studies tested a stereotype inoculation model, which proposed that contact with same-sex experts (advanced peers, professionals, professors) in academic environments involving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) enhances women's self-concept in STEM, attitudes toward STEM, and motivation to pursue STEM careers. Two cross-sectional controlled experiments and 1 longitudinal naturalistic study in a calculus class revealed that exposure to female STEM experts promoted positive implicit attitudes and stronger implicit identification with STEM (Studies 1-3), greater self-efficacy in STEM (Study 3), and more effort on STEM tests (Study 1). Studies 2 and 3 suggested that the benefit of seeing same-sex experts is driven by greater subjective identification and connectedness with these individuals, which in turn predicts enhanced self-efficacy, domain identification, and commitment to pursue STEM careers. Importantly, women's own self-concept benefited from contact with female experts even though negative stereotypes about their gender and STEM remained active.

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