Women’s adaptation to STEM domains promotes resilience and a lesser reliance on heuristic thinking

Laura di Bella, Richard Crisp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Experiences that compel people to challenge social stereotypes can promote enhanced cognitive flexibility on a range of judgmental domains. Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields are chronically exposed to such experiences and may therefore also demonstrate these benefits. Two studies examined the differential effects of counterstereotypical experiences on women from STEM and non-STEM fields. Results showed that imagining or recollecting these experiences led women from STEM fields to exhibit a lesser reliance on heuristic thinking compared to women from non-STEM fields, and this difference was mediated by self-perceived resilience to the negative impact of gender stereotyping. Implications for psychologists’ and educators’ understanding of the relationship between counterstereotypical experiences and heuristic thinking are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-201
Number of pages18
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Volume19
Issue number2
Early online date9 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

Keywords

  • adaptation
  • counterstereotypes
  • gender
  • STEM

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