Effects of Gender Stereotype Threat on Physiological Stress Response
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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Stereotype threat is observed in many settings, but one of particular interest is gender. A classic gender stereotype is that females perform worse on mathematical assessments as compared to males, which can have significant implications on women today looking to pursue careers in math or science. Previous research has found that performance on standardized tests was hindered by the presence of significant negative stereotype, which affects monitoring processes, such as working memory, and induces several physiological responses. This study explored the relationship between induced gender stereotype threat during a mathematical examination and the physiological stress response that resulted. This was accomplished through measurements of heart rate, respiration rate and depth, and electrodermal activity (EDA) during a two portion mathematical exam, halfway through which an article was administered to induce gender stereotype threat. The statistical analyses did not show a significant increase in physiological stress response linked to math exam performance after induced stereotype threat. Likely reasons for this include small sample size, time constraint for data collection, and experimental equipment inconsistencies. Thus our hypothesis that increased levels of physiological stress response would result from induced stereotype threat in a female cohort was not supported.
ElectroDermal Activity (EDA)
Galvanic Skin Response (GSR)