Investigating the Links Among Stereotypes, Self-Image, and Career Commitment to the Sciences

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Title: Investigating the Links Among Stereotypes, Self-Image, and Career Commitment to the Sciences
Author: Nix, Anisha Mahesh
Advisors: Mary B. Wyer, Committee Chair
Denis O. Gray, Committee Member
Shevaun Neupert, Committee Member
Abstract: Women have historically been underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. One reason for this continued underrepresentation might be existing stereotypes of STEM fields, as well as the lack of historical role models within these fields. A longitudinal analysis conducted over a one-semester period in an introductory Chemistry course was conducted to explore the effects of a curriculum intervention that introduced the contributions of women to chemistry on students’ stereotypes about STEM fields, self perceptions, and their commitment to STEM fields. Results indicate that stereotypes about scientists in this sample include masculine, feminine, and neutral characteristics and that there was some change in stereotypes after the intervention. Furthermore, women in the sample had higher career commitment to the sciences than men and women who were STEM majors had a better fit between stereotypes and self perceptions than did women who were not STEM majors.
Date: 2009-08-07
Degree: MS
Discipline: Psychology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/899


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