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The influence of self-efficacy, interest, and stereotype threat on career intentions and choices related to math and science.

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posted on 24.05.2021, 14:06 by Elizabeth Wong
Women continue to be underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers/sectors. Concurrently, negative stereotypes about women’s abilities to perform in STEM persists. This research examined whether gender stereotypes influence women’s STEM-related intentions and choices and the mediating influence of cognitive predictors based on the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994). In total, 194 women from Ryerson University were randomly assigned to a stereotype threat (n =65), stereotype nullification (n = 65), or control condition (n = 64). Participants completed questionnaires assessing math self-efficacy, math and science interests and intentions, and a math/verbal choice task. In support of SCCT, math self-efficacy and math/science interests predicted math/science intentions and choice on the math/verbal test. Furthermore, “math identified” participants in the stereotype threat condition reported lower math/science intentions. This research has implications for current interventions designed to increase women’s participation and retention in STEM.



Master of Arts



Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type