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Meta-lay theories of scientific potential drive underrepresented students' sense of belonging to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
J Pers Soc Psychol 2018; 115(1):54-75JP

Abstract

The current research investigates people's perceptions of others' lay theories (or mindsets), an understudied construct that we call meta-lay theories. Six studies examine whether underrepresented students' meta-lay theories influence their sense of belonging to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The studies tested whether underrepresented students who perceive their faculty as believing most students have high scientific aptitude (a universal metatheory) would report a stronger sense of belonging to STEM than those who think their faculty believe that not everyone has high scientific aptitude (a nonuniversal metatheory). Women PhD candidates in STEM fields who held universal rather than nonuniversal metatheories felt greater sense of belonging to their field, both when metatheories were measured (Study 1) and manipulated (Study 2). Undergraduates who held more universal metatheories reported a higher sense of belonging to STEM (Studies 3 and 4) and earned higher final course grades (Study 3). Experimental manipulations depicting a professor communicating the universal lay theory eliminated the difference between African American and European American students' attraction to a STEM course (Study 5) and between women and men's sense of belonging to STEM (Study 6). Mini meta-analyses indicated that the universal metatheory increases underrepresented students' sense of belonging to STEM, reduces the extent of social identity threat they experience, and reduces their perception of faculty as endorsing stereotypes. Across different underrepresented groups, types of institutions, areas of STEM, and points in the STEM pipeline, students' metaperceptions of faculty's lay theories about scientific aptitude influence their sense of belonging to STEM. (PsycINFO Database Record

Authors+Show Affiliations

Organisational Behaviour, London Business School.Strategy, Management, and Organisation, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University.College of Liberal Arts, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.Department of Psychology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina.Department of Psychology, Stanford University.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Webcast

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29911882

Citation

Rattan, Aneeta, et al. "Meta-lay Theories of Scientific Potential Drive Underrepresented Students' Sense of Belonging to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 115, no. 1, 2018, pp. 54-75.
Rattan A, Savani K, Komarraju M, et al. Meta-lay theories of scientific potential drive underrepresented students' sense of belonging to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). J Pers Soc Psychol. 2018;115(1):54-75.
Rattan, A., Savani, K., Komarraju, M., Morrison, M. M., Boggs, C., & Ambady, N. (2018). Meta-lay theories of scientific potential drive underrepresented students' sense of belonging to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 115(1), pp. 54-75. doi:10.1037/pspi0000130.
Rattan A, et al. Meta-lay Theories of Scientific Potential Drive Underrepresented Students' Sense of Belonging to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). J Pers Soc Psychol. 2018;115(1):54-75. PubMed PMID: 29911882.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Meta-lay theories of scientific potential drive underrepresented students' sense of belonging to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). AU - Rattan,Aneeta, AU - Savani,Krishna, AU - Komarraju,Meera, AU - Morrison,Megan M, AU - Boggs,Carol, AU - Ambady,Nalini, PY - 2018/6/19/entrez PY - 2018/6/19/pubmed PY - 2019/10/11/medline SP - 54 EP - 75 JF - Journal of personality and social psychology JO - J Pers Soc Psychol VL - 115 IS - 1 N2 - The current research investigates people's perceptions of others' lay theories (or mindsets), an understudied construct that we call meta-lay theories. Six studies examine whether underrepresented students' meta-lay theories influence their sense of belonging to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The studies tested whether underrepresented students who perceive their faculty as believing most students have high scientific aptitude (a universal metatheory) would report a stronger sense of belonging to STEM than those who think their faculty believe that not everyone has high scientific aptitude (a nonuniversal metatheory). Women PhD candidates in STEM fields who held universal rather than nonuniversal metatheories felt greater sense of belonging to their field, both when metatheories were measured (Study 1) and manipulated (Study 2). Undergraduates who held more universal metatheories reported a higher sense of belonging to STEM (Studies 3 and 4) and earned higher final course grades (Study 3). Experimental manipulations depicting a professor communicating the universal lay theory eliminated the difference between African American and European American students' attraction to a STEM course (Study 5) and between women and men's sense of belonging to STEM (Study 6). Mini meta-analyses indicated that the universal metatheory increases underrepresented students' sense of belonging to STEM, reduces the extent of social identity threat they experience, and reduces their perception of faculty as endorsing stereotypes. Across different underrepresented groups, types of institutions, areas of STEM, and points in the STEM pipeline, students' metaperceptions of faculty's lay theories about scientific aptitude influence their sense of belonging to STEM. (PsycINFO Database Record SN - 1939-1315 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29911882/Meta-lay_theories_of_scientific_potential_drive_underrepresented_students'_sense_of_belonging_to_science,_technology,_engineering,_and_mathematics_(STEM) L2 - http://content.apa.org/journals/psp/115/1/54 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -