July 8, 2013, 3:17 pm
Here’s an interesting study (paywall) by a team of psychologists from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and the University of British Columbia that speaks to just how strong is the link between our personal identity and the way we perform on academic tests, especially mathematics tests. In the study, a group of 110 female and 72 male undergraduates were given a 30-question multiple choice math test. At the beginning of the test, all participants were told that men usually outperform women on math performance. (Never mind whether this is true for the moment.) Then, one group of participants completed the test using their own names on the test papers, while another group used one of four fake names – two of which were male names and the other two females.
The males who took the test did equally well regardless of whether they used an alias or not – even if they used a female …
January 27, 2010, 7:00 am
The LA Times reports on a study suggesting that female elementary school teachers who are anxious about math transmit that anxiety to the girls in their classes:
Girls have long embraced the stereotype that they’re not supposed to be good at math. It seems they may be getting the idea from a surprising source — their female elementary school teachers.
First- and second-graders whose teachers were anxious about mathematics were more likely to believe that boys are hard-wired for math and that girls are better at reading, a new study has found. What’s more, the girls who bought into that notion scored significantly lower on math tests than their peers who didn’t.
The gap in test scores was not apparent in the fall when the kids were first tested, but emerged after spending a school year in the classrooms of teachers with math anxiety. That detail convinced researchers that the teachers …