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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.504 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

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

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v10.i1.70
10 pages

THE EFFECT OF STEREOTYPE THREAT ON UNDERGRADUATES IN AN INTRODUCTORY ASTRONOMY CLASS

Beth Hufnagel
Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Parkway, Arnold, MD 21012-1895
Grace L. Deming
University of Maryland at College Park
Janet M. Landato
W. R. Harper College
Apriel K. Hodari
Eureka Scientific, Inc., 2452 Delmer Street, Suite 100, Oakland, California 94602-3017, USA

ABSTRACT

This quantitative study tests the hypothesis that undergraduates taking an introductory astronomy class for nonscience majors are susceptible to stereotype threat (ST). The Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT), a conceptual survey designed for introductory astronomy classes, was administered pre- and postcourse to two pairs (control and threatened) of the same class taught by the same professors, one pair at a public, suburban community college and the other pair at a large, state research university. One class of each pair was threatened postcourse by telling the students that their gender mattered on the ADT. The results showed no ST effect on the women in the university class. The college women underperformed and the men overperformed at a low statistical significance. The authors infer that Steele’s requirement for domain identification as a condition is also required to strongly invoke ST for this sample of nonscience students.


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