Stereotype Threats and Math Test Performance

By Loredana Ruxandra Gherasim and Nicoleta Laura Popa.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Stereotyping can negatively affect tests performance, along with other factors as cognitive resources, expectancies and perception on fields’ importance. Some studies suggest that effects of stereotyping threats on tests performance can be decreased through improved attention and memory capacities, or positivechanges in social identity. The study aimed to analyse the mediating effect of ability level and contextual factors on stereotyping threats in solving math tests. A 2 (suggested ability level: low/high) X 2 (contextual factors: present/absent) X 2 (gender: male/female) design had been used. The sample included 231 eighthgrade students, aged 13 to 15, 110 boys and 121 girls. We used a teacher-made math test, with items similar to national math tests. Contextual factors influenced math test performance, namely their presence improved the performance e. Study results do not support an interaction effect of ability level and gender on math test performance. However, boys’ math performance increased when they could use contextual factors in explaining their performance, while girls’ performances are not significantly influenced in the same experimental conditions. Gender had no significant effect on math test performance. We assume that the math test has been perceived as very important - a simulation for the final national math exam.

Keywords: Stereotype Threats, Gender, Contextual Factors, Ability Level, Math Performance

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp.211-222. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.267MB).

Dr. Loredana Ruxandra Gherasim

Lecturer, Psychology and Educational Sciences, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iasi, Romania

Her teaching and research interests include psychological research methodology, social and educational psychology. She published several articles in national and international peer-reviewed journals and one book.

Dr. Nicoleta Laura Popa

Lecturer, Psychology and Educational Sciences, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iasi, Romania

Nicoleta L. Popa is a lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, Romania. Her teaching and research interests include educational research methodology, intercultural education and gifted education. She published several articles in national and international peer-reviewed journals and two books (one co-authored).

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