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Title:Threats to success in mathematics: examining the combined effects of choking under pressure and stereotype threat
Author(s):Mingle, Leigh
Director of Research:Perry, Michelle
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Perry, Michelle
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Lubienski, Sarah T.; Robinson-Cimpian, Joseph P.; Ryan, Allison M.
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
achievement motivation
Abstract:Girls and boys do not choose to go into mathematics dependent careers at the same rate. Understanding this gap is more complicated than simply looking at performance differences between boys and girls. This disparity in career choice could stem from differences in motivation that can be seen as early as middle school. In this dissertation, I investigate three possible motivational factors that may contribute to the gender gap in achievement in mathematics. The study from which the data for each of these investigations come, was an experimental study looking at how stereotype threat and high pressure would impact the performance and motivation of high-achieving seventh- and eighth- grade students. I found that stereotype threat may not have an impact on the performance of middle school girls, that an ego-approach goal may be beneficial for gaining recognition as one of the top students in mathematics, and that students’ view of their own femininity and masculinity in conjunction with their gender may be important factors to measure when looking at performance differences in mathematics. Taken together, these findings indicate that achievement motivation likely plays an important role in the performance of students in mathematics and may help to explain the gender gap. Understanding how these factors work to curb or support students’ interest and performance in mathematics is necessary to create effective interventions to reduce the gender gap.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Leigh Mingle
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

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