The National Academies recently posted an article about the effect of stereotypes on the performance of women in mathematics.
The study, a collaboration by researchers at the University of Chicago, University of Miami, and University of California, involved 200 women with strong math skills. The women were separated into two groups; one group was simply told that they were part of a study on math performance, while the second group was told they were part of a study to find out why men outperform women in math.
While the first group did well, even displaying an improvement in their math performance, the second group's performance went from 90 percent to 80 percent. This group also went on to perform poorly on an unrelated memory examination following the math test.
The National Academies has two related free reports :
- Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering (2007)
- To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering (2006)