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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Druckformat: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v6.i1.20
12 pages

THE IMPACT OF GENDER ON THE QUALITY AND CONTENT OF E-MAIL ADVICE PROFESSORS GIVE TO STUDENTS APPLYING TO GRADUATE SCHOOL

Rhea E. Steinpreis
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Katie A. Anders
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Monica G. Riley
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Dawn M. Ritzke
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Theodore W. McDonald
California State University, Chico State

ABSTRAKT

The purpose of this study was to determine if gender plays a role in the quality and quantity of the advice given to undergraduates about applying to graduate school. Four hundred male and female psychologists who listed a university address and e-mail address in the 1997 Directory of the American Psychological Association were sent an e-mail inquiry from a pseudostudent (either Theresa or Brian Miller). In the first e-mail, the pseudostudent asked if the subjects would be willing to look at his or her GRE scores and grade point average (GPA) for the purpose of providing advice about his or her chances of getting into the graduate program at the subject's school. Two hundred forty subjects consented to examine the figures, nearly equally split between males and females. Subjects were then sent the GPA and scores of an outstanding, average, or poor applicant. The results indicated that female faculty were significantly more likely to consent to examine the data of a female pseudostudent and male faculty were significantly more likely to consent to examine the data of a male pseudostudent. However, once the faculty member agreed to offer advice, gender had no impact on the length or quality of advice given to the pseudostudent, and advice became a function of the pseudostudent's academic credentials. Furthermore, while male and female subjects were equally likely to encourage, discourage, or recant on their offer to give feedback, male subjects were more likely to refuse to review the data and female subjects were more likely to offer a neutral response to the data. The results are discussed in terms of the difficulty students face in finding adequate information about pursuing a graduate education. These problems may be magnified for female students because there are fewer female faculty available to serve as mentors.


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