Paper Title

Self and Scientist: Diversity and Students’ Images of Scientists

Panel

Culture and Identity in Psychology

Location

Room 222, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

2-4-2016 2:00 PM

End Date

2-4-2016 3:15 PM

Keywords

Identity, Psychology, Science, WGS, LGBTQ, Intersectionality

Abstract

The shortage of women in STEM is attributed to several causes, but key among them is the theory that stereotypes of scientists and engineers foil women’s interest by challenging the development of their scientist identity through the evocation of a negative future social self, an image that women in particular have been found to fear. However, theories about which future selves women value (social versus academic) are largely based in evidence collected from White women, while research suggests that different patterns emerge within different ethnic and racial groups. This presentation will discuss the challenges in measuring scientist identity when working with a diverse sample whose possible selves may conflict (or not) with stereotypes of scientists in varied ways, highlighting the need for culturally competent interventions that challenge stereotypes efficiently (e.g., result in higher scientist identity) and productively (e.g., result in more diverse narratives about who does science).

Comments

Heather Perkins is a second-year graduate student in the Applied Social and Community Psychology program at NC State. She has participated in various research projects examining how website structure influences narratives in online communities, the role of stereotypes on women's performance in school, and the development of scientist identity in diverse community college classrooms. Her primary research interest is STEM education and and online communities.

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Apr 2nd, 2:00 PM Apr 2nd, 3:15 PM

Self and Scientist: Diversity and Students’ Images of Scientists

Room 222, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

The shortage of women in STEM is attributed to several causes, but key among them is the theory that stereotypes of scientists and engineers foil women’s interest by challenging the development of their scientist identity through the evocation of a negative future social self, an image that women in particular have been found to fear. However, theories about which future selves women value (social versus academic) are largely based in evidence collected from White women, while research suggests that different patterns emerge within different ethnic and racial groups. This presentation will discuss the challenges in measuring scientist identity when working with a diverse sample whose possible selves may conflict (or not) with stereotypes of scientists in varied ways, highlighting the need for culturally competent interventions that challenge stereotypes efficiently (e.g., result in higher scientist identity) and productively (e.g., result in more diverse narratives about who does science).