The present research was designed to examine the effects of gender math stereotypes on performance attributions and persistence. Two experiments tested whether stereotypes guided men’s and women’s reactions to negative or positive feedback on an alleged test of verbal or math ability. In Study 1, attributions to ability were influenced by gender stereotypes: women were more sensitive to feedback on a test that was described as a test of their math ability than when the same test was described as a test of their verbal ability, whereas men showed the opposite pattern. Study 2 replicated these findings for negative feedback and further showed that gender differences in attributions to ability mediated the gender difference in persistence in the math domain following an alleged failure on a math test. The implications of stereotype-consistent attributions for women’s persistence in quantitative fields are discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 28, 2006
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