Nosek et al (2009) provide additional support for the effect of stereotype threat on academic performance. Using gender bias data from Project Implicit and scores from the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS), Nosek's study found that countries where stronger gender biases existed also showed greater disparities in TIMSS performance between girls and boys. (see other posts tagged "stereotype threat")
I'd be interested to see if there's a regional difference in biases within the U.S. or Canada. Do people in Montana hold difference gender biases than people in California, or Texas, or Massachusetts? Do gender disparities in math and science performance mirror these differences, if they exist? I feel like using regional differences within a country might control for some portion of the huge array of cultural confounds that I suspect plague international studies. The cultures are regionally diverse, but there is a common language and legal system, and I feel like that would help.
I feel like the big "key", if there is a one, to stereotype threat is the self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe what I mean is that stereotype threat assumes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm concerned that it rules out a valid interpretation of available data. Let's say, for some unknown reason, that there is an innate gender difference ability in math and science in Chile, but not in Cyprus. Wouldn't it make sense for the people in those countries to have beliefs that reflected that reality? I don't think that's the case, but I'm not sure it's appropriately ruled out by the stereotype threat studies -- because they assume that the biases create the performance, rather than performance creating the biases.
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