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Study: Stereotypes Impact on Women’s Career Choices

A new study is being launched to determine whether the stereotype that women lack an innate ability to succeed in scientific careers impacts their drive to enter the field, according to a recent article. The findings could help provide insight on how the nation can both target workforce shortages and close persistent gender gaps in those critical careers.

The National Science Foundation awarded $312,000 over the next three years to investigate the issue. Eric Deemer a professor of psychology in Louisiana Tech University’s College of Education; and Jessi Smith, professor of psychology at Montana State University will lead the study.  The study, The Mediating Role of Stereotype Threat and Achievement Goals in the Regulation of Scientific Motivation, will include interviews of 2,500 students.

“Women are often subjected by others to the stereotypical belief that they are incapable of being scientists,” said Deemer, in a science news article.

The findings are expected to lead to recommendations pedagogical practices and career intervention strategies.

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