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How A Stereotype Threat Intervention Can Help Students in STEM Fields

KQED News Mind/Shift – Esther Landhuis

“The results indicate that directly discussing the phenomena of stereotype threat appears to help students of ethnic groups underrepresented in science as well, if not better, than traditional approaches that bolster students without specifically talking about stereotypes. Past research shows minority students can be helped by being prompted to think about things they care about like sports, friends, or religion. It’s called affirmation training. Asking students to recall these values nurtures a broader sense of self and makes individual threats, such as a math test, seem less daunting, says Stanford psychologist Greg Walton. Indeed, a study by Walton and colleagues showed that so-called affirmation training can improve women’s attitudes about school and raise their science GPAs.”(more)

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