94 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2019
    1. recitation

      A meeting of a subset of students from a larger lecture course in which students can ask questions, get clarification on lecture topics, and may solve additional problems or take quizzes (typically required with very large college courses).

    2. women’s performance on difficult math and science tests can suffer insofar as they worry that their poor performance could be seen to confirm a negative gender stereotype (18

      Spencer, Steele, and Quinn performed several experiments to determine whether the stereotype that men are better at math than women affected women's performance on math tests.

      They found that when the gender stereotype was reinforced before a hard math test women performed even worse compared to men than on the test than usual. However, describing the test as not producing gender differences eliminated the difference in performance between men and women.

    3. reduce the gender gap in college physics classrooms (13)

      Lorenzo, Crouch, and Mazur found that using more interactive teaching methods improved conceptual understanding for all students in a college-level physics class and reduced the gap in performance between women and men, compared to classes taught in the traditional lecture-based way. Classes taught with the highest level of interaction eliminated the gender gap.

    4. 20. T. Schmader, M. Johns, M. Barquissau, Sex Roles 50, 835 (2004).

      Schmader, Johns, and Barquissau found that the level of endorsement of the stereotype that men are better than women at math was a moderating variable for gender performance.

      Women who more strongly endorsed the stereotype performed worse.

    5. β

      Beta. Beta refers to the probability that you can accept the null hypothesis (which states that values affirmation has no effect) when in fact the null hypothesis is wrong.

    6. Our results, therefore, demonstrate that, even among women who are relatively identified with and accomplished in science, a substantial gender gap exists, women’s performance is negatively related to stereotype endorsement, and gender differences can be reduced with a values-affirmation intervention

      Read more in PBS NewsHour.

    7. Of course, even here, there were structural opportunities for learning in the form of a solid curriculum and qualified teachers; without such basic support, the efficacy of any psychological intervention would be limited (23).

      The authors discuss their results and caution that values affirmation is not a perfect solution. Other education reforms are necessary.

      Read more in AAAS.

    8. effect size

      Statistical measure of the strength of the relationship between two variables.

    9. double-blind study

      An experiment in which neither the participants nor the experimenters know which group the each participant is assigned to until after the data is analyzed.

    10. gender gap

      Another term for the "gender achievement gap" in which men outperform women in the same field.

    11. lucrative

      High-paying.

    12. conceptual mastery

      Understanding the main ideas that make up the field.

    13. interactive techniques

      Activities in which the student participates (as opposed to passively listening to a lecture).

    14. curricular materials

      Educational resources that can be incorporated into a teacher's lessons.

    15. context-rich problems

      Short scenarios that give the student a real-world situation in which to apply their knowledge.

    16. fear of being devalued based on a group identity

      Stereotype threat or identity threat.

    17. evaluative stress

      Fear and anxiety caused by the thought of having to take an exam.

    18. pedagogical

      Related to teaching.

    19. control group

      The subjects that do not receive treatment.

    20. self-relevant

      Related to an individual's sense of identity.

    21. cumulative exam

      Test on all material covered during the course.

    22. distribution

      The frequency of occurrence of some measure (for example: how many students got As, Bs, Cs, Ds, and Fs).

    23. standardized test

      Any form of an exam that requires all people taking the test to answer the same questions and is scored the same way in all cases, so that comparisons can be made between all people who take the test. These are typically multiple choice tests taken by large populations of students (for example: all 8th grade students in the US).

    24. psychological threat

      Any outside force (real or perceived) that challenges a person's values, beliefs or sense of self.

      Stereotype (or identity) threat is a subset of psychological threat in which a person feels they will be judged according to common prejudices about some aspect of their identity (for example: race, ethnicity or gender).

    25. SOM

      Supporting Online Materials (typically located at the end of the article).

    26. significant

      The result deviates from that expected to arise by chance (from random variation or errors in sampling).

    27. Although previous attempts to reduce the gender achievement gap in science have focused mostly on instructional methods, the current results highlight the importance of social-psychological factors.

      There are many factors that affect student performance in college, including intrinsic values which can be supported by values affirmation.

      Read more in The National Academies Press.

    28. psychological intervention

      Any activity used to modify behavior, emotional state, or feelings.

    29. values affirmation

      An intervention in which people reflect on and write about the beliefs and values (e.g., family, integrity) that are important in their life.

    30. gender achievement gap

      The difference in test scores, course performance, and job prospects between people of different genders.

    31. instructional methods

      How course material is taught, such as through context-rich problems or curricular materials.

    32. cognitive

      Perception, attention, learning, memory, and problem solving.

    33. theoretically motivated

      Based on a hypothesis that may have been supported in laboratory experiments, but has not yet been shown to work in practice.

    34. replicated

      Repeating a scientific experiment and finding the same results.

    35. 31. G. L. Cohen, J. Garcia, V. Purdie-Vaughns, N. Apfel, P. Brzustoski, Science 324, 400 (2009).

      Cohen et al. found that an initial values affirmation intervention could have long-lasting positive effects.

    36. 30. A. Martens, M. Johns, J. Greenberg, J. Schimel, J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 42, 236 (2006).

      Martens et al. showed that values affirmation was effective under laboratory conditions.

    37. 29. J. D. Creswell et al., Psychol. Sci. 16, 846 (2005).

      Creswell et al. identified a physical reaction to stereotype threat, and found that values affirmation reduces this reaction.

    38. 23. G. L. Cohen, J. Garcia, N. Apfel, A. Master, Science 313, 1307 (2006).

      Cohen et al. performed a large scale examination of the efficacy of values affirmation in an authentic classroom environment. They tested whether a simple intervention could reduce the effects of stereotype threat for African American students. 

      They found that having students complete a short writing exercise, in which they wrote about a value they found important (values affirmation), reduced the gap in performance between African American students and other students.

    39. 22. C. Good, J. Aronson, M. Inzlicht, Appl. Dev. Psychol. 24, 645 (2003).

      Good, Aronson, and Inzlicht assessed whether specific kinds of mentoring could reduce the effects of stereotype threat in female, minority or low-income seventh-graders.

      They found that students paired with a college-student mentor who either 1) encouraged them to view intelligence as malleable, or 2) told them to attribute academic difficulties to the novelty of the educational setting, performed much better than students who did not get this framing.

    40. affect performance in lab experiments and classrooms (20

      Schmader, Johns, and Barquissau found that women who identified more strongly with the stereotype that men are better than women at math were likely to be less confident about their own abilities and less likely to pursue math careers. They also found that women who believed the gender stereotype were more susceptible to its negative effects on math test performance.

    41. 13. M. Lorenzo, C. Crouch, E. Mazur, Am. J. Phys. 74, 118 (2006).

      Using more interactive teaching methods has been shown to improve conceptual understanding for students in college-level physics compared to traditional lecture-based teaching.

      Interactive teaching has also been shown to reduce the gap in performance between women and men.

    42. 6. S. J. Pollock, N. D. Finkelstein, L. E. Kost, Phys. Rev. Spec. Top. Phys. Ed. Res. 3, 010107 (2007).

      Kost, Pollock, and Finkelstein performed the initial assessment of the gender achievement gap in college students taking introductory physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

      They found that most (but not all) of the gender achievement gap, could be attributed to previous preparation in the field.

    43. discipline

      A specific branch of knowledge, such as physics or biology.

    44. among women with higher levels of stereotype endorsement, the end-of-semester FMCE scores were higher in the affirmation condition than in the control condition

      Values affirmation improved performance for women, especially those who endorsed the gender stereotype.

    45. Error bars

      A graphical representation (usually lines through a point on the graph that run parallel to one of the axes) showing the amount of uncertainty there is in the location of that point. All scientific data collection includes uncertainty--error bars allow researchers to show how confident they are in their results. Large error bars mean there is a lot of uncertainty (lower confidence), while smaller error bars mean there is less uncertainty.

    46. z scores

      A z-score is a measure of the number of standard deviations above or below the average score a raw, individual score is. The higher the z-score, the more different a data point is from the average.

    47. continuous

      Continuous variables have an infinite number of possible values. This is in contrast to categorical variables, which have a discrete number of defined values (for example, in this study "man" or "woman" for gender).

    48. men's exam scores were little affected by stereotype endorsement, regardless of condition

      Men's performance on exams was not affected by the degree to which they endorsed the gender stereotype.

    49. SD

      Standard deviation, a measure of the amount of variation in data.

      It can be used to quantify how far an individual's data is from the average of a data set.

    50. negative relation

      A condition in which when the value of one variable goes up (endorsement of the gender stereotype), the value of the other variable goes down (exam scores).

    51. as a function of

      A function defines one variable in terms of another. Here, the more strongly a woman in the control group endorsed the gender stereotype, the lower her exam scores were.

      Defining y "as a function of" x means that y varies based on the level of x.

    52. the values affirmation was particularly beneficial for women who tended to endorse the gender stereotype

      Values affirmation was more effective for women who believed more strongly that the gender stereotype (i.e., that men are better at physics than women) was true.

    53. suggesting that the reduced gender gap observed in this study is based more robustly on the affirmation’s positive impact on women than on its negative impact on men.

      Because women did better on all measures when they performed values affirmation, and men only performed worse according to one measure, it is likely that the reduction in the gender gap observed after the values affirmation intervention is due to women's scores improving rather than men's scores becoming worse. 

    54. affirmation negatively affected men’s exam scores

      Men who performed values affirmation did, on average, slightly worse on course exams than men who didn't perform values affirmation. However, this was not seen on all measures of success (for example, the effect was not seen on the FMCE score).

    55. χ2

      Chi-squared, a test which tells whether there is a statistically significant difference between the distribution of two categorical variables (for example, gender).

    56. more women earned B’s in the affirmation group than in the control group, whereas more women earned C’s in the control group than in the affirmation group

      Values affirmation resulted in a shift in the distribution of overall grades for women (but not men). In the values affirmation group, more women earned Bs (relative to Cs) than in the control group.

    57. The reduction in the gender gap remained evident on the final

      Values affirmation reduced the gender gap in final exam scores even though the intervention occurred several weeks before the final exam. This suggests that the effects may be relatively long-lasting.

    58. SE

      Refers to standard error, which is a measure of how far away the mean of your data is likely to be from the true mean of the population.

    59. Course grades, based substantially (75%) on the exam scores, showed a similar pattern

      Values affirmation reduced the gender gap in overall course grades between men and women.

    60. P

      The P value is a measure of how likely it is that your null hypothesis (that values affirmation has no effect) is true.

    61. the gender gap was significantly smaller in the affirmation condition than in the control condition

      The authors found that the values affirmation intervention reduced the gender gap between men and women on average exam score.

      In the control condition, men scored higher than women. However, in the values affirmation condition, there was no significant difference in scores between men and women.

    62. we expected the intervention to be particularly beneficial for women tending to endorse the gender stereotype.

      The authors predicted that the effect of the values affirmation intervention would be greater for women who more strongly endorse the gender stereotypes.

    63. We predicted a reduced gender gap in performance for women who completed the values affirmation.

      The authors' main predication was that women who completed values affirmation would have a smaller gender gap than women who did not complete values affirmation.

    64. outcome measure

      Tools used to assess a subject's performance.

    65. condition

      Assigned group, either the intervention group or the control group. In this case, the control group contained students who did not participate in the values affirmation intervention.

    66. In this randomized double-blind study

      The authors used a double-blind study design, meaning that neither the students nor the teaching assistants working with the students knew the purpose of the study, or to which group each student was assigned. Double-blind studies are meant to reduce unintentional bias on the part of the participant or the researcher, interpreting the data.

    67. We tested whether values affirmation would reduce the gender achievement gap in a 15-week introductory physics course for STEM majors.

      The authors tested whether using a values affirmation intervention in their college physics course could reduce the performance gap between men and women.

    68. this benefit persisted in a 2-year follow-up study (31)

      An initial values affirmation intervention can have long-lasting positive effects.

      In one study, a group of students received a values affirmation intervention at the start of seventh-grade (initial findings reported in reference 23), and their academic performance was monitored through seventh and eighth grade. African American students that received the intervention had larger and persistent increases in grade point average than those who did not receive the intervention. This suggests that a single intervention could have long lasting positive effects.

    69. The values-affirmation intervention used in this study involves writing about personally important values (such as friends and family). The writing exercise is brief (10 to 15 min) and is unrelated to the subject matter of the course.

      The key variable in this experiment is whether a student experiences the values affirmation intervention.

      In the values affirmation intervention, students briefly write about a value they find personally important.

    70. 21. T. Schmader, M. Johns, C. Forbes, Psychol. Rev. 115, 336 (2008).

      Schmader, Johns, and Forbes suggest that stereotype threat might affect women's performance through three interconnected mechanisms:

      1) It causes a physical stress response that can impair some aspects of brain function, reducing the baseline level of mental resources.

      2) It causes women to actively monitor their performance, taking valuable mental resources away from the assigned task.

      3) It causes women to actively repress negative feelings and thoughts, which also consumes mental resources.

    71. 18. S. J. Spencer, C. M. Steele, D. M. Quinn, J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 35, 4 (1999).

      Spencer, Steele, and Quinn performed some of the original experiments showing that the stereotype that men are better at math than women affected women's performance on math tests.

    72. social-psychological

      Effects that result from interactions within groups, and between both groups and individuals.

    73. can account for as much as 60% of the gender gap in exam performance at our institution, the University of Colorado, but background and preparation do not fully account for the gap (9)

      Previous work has assessed the gender achievement gap in college students taking introductory physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

      Despite the use of teaching methods thought to reduce the gender achievement gap, there remained a difference between men's and women's test scores. Most of this gap could be attributed to differences in prior preparation (for example, men were more likely to take high school physics), but not all of the gap could be attributed to these factors.

    74. randomized

      Participants are randomly assigned to different test conditions.

      In this case, participants are equally likely to end up in the control group and the values affirmation test group.

  2. May 2019
    1. in-class exam scores by approximately 61% and entirely eliminated the gap on the FCME

      Taking into account pre-existing differences in students' preparation for the class, values affirmation was highly effective in reducing or eliminating the gender gap.

    2. F

      Another measure of statistical difference between the means of different groups.

    3. Cohen’s d

      A statistical measure of effect size.

    4. t

      The t statistic is used with the T test, which determines if there is a difference between the average result of two different groups.

    5. the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation (FMCE)

      A secondary outcome measure was student scores on the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation. Because this test is administered throughout the country, the authors can compare their findings to the normal results for the population.

    6. in-class exams

      The main way the author's assessed student performance was to compare scores on multiple choice exams. These scores are referred to as the main outcome measure.

    7. Students in the control group selected their least important values from the same list and wrote why these values might be important to other people.

      Students in the control group spent time writing about a value that was not important to their identity. This ensures that any difference between the values affirmation group and the control group is due to the act of self-reflection and affirmation, and not simply a result of general writing.

    8. As part of an online survey typically given in the course (week 2), students also indicated their endorsement of the stereotype that men perform better than women in physics.

      Level of endorsement of the stereotype that men perform better than women in physics is a moderating variable. Its value influences how much the values affirmation intervention affects course performance.

    9. attempts to reduce identity threat in authentic classroom contexts have been limited

      One of the key features of this study is that it takes places in an authentic college classroom, rather than being an artificial, one-time laboratory experiment.

    10. racial achievement gap

      The difference in performance (for example on standardized tests) between minority students and white students.

    11. 23

      Cohen and colleagues tested whether a simple intervention could reduce the effects of stereotype threat for African American students.

      They found that having students complete a short writing exercise, in which they wrote about a value they found important (values affirmation), reduced the gap in performance between African American students and other students.

    12. gateway courses

      Classes that students are required to take before taking more advanced courses in the field.

    13. snowballing effect

      A process that may start small, but build on itself becoming larger and more serious.

    14. interactive engagement approaches

      Teaching strategies in which students are challenged to think about the material on their own and with other students, while the instructor acts as a guide.

    15. residual

      Amount left unexplained by other variables.

    16. grand mean

      The mean of the mean of several sub-samples.

    17. moderation effect

      Moderating variables are variables that affect the direction of strength of a relationship between dependent and independent variables (in this case, the level of endorsement of stereotype threat is the moderating variable).

      A moderating effect is the result of the influence of a moderating variable.

    18. main

      A main effect is the effect of one independent variable (in this case gender) on the dependent variable (in this case beginning-of-semester FMCE scores), and ignores the effects of other independent variables.

    19. nationally normed standardized test

      A standardized test that is given across the country so that an average performance can be determined for the country.

    20. modal grades

      The "mode" refers to the number that occurs most frequently in a set.

      The "modal grade" is the course grade that occurred most frequently.