Simple Writing Exercise Increases Womens’ Science Scores

A fascinating piece of research carried out on college-aged women studying science, appears to confirm that the gender gap in performance is psychological. Carried out by the University of Colorado which asked a randomly selected group of men and women to write affirmations – statements of their values and strengths. The study covered a course where men had historically out performed women. At the end of the 15-week course, the gap between male and female academic performance had narrowed for the women who had taken part in the affirmation exercise, though interestingly there was no similar increase for men. The female students were also given a survey which found the more strongly the women believed in the stereotype of men being better at science, the lower their score. I see this research as a great reason for young women to find a savvy role model or mentor who will boost their confidence and affirm their abilities – read more in my article Female Role Models and Mentors – could be the key to more women in science.

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