Math–Gender Stereotypes in American Elementary-School Children - A Talk by Dr. Dario Cvencek

Math–Gender Stereotypes in American Elementary-School Children - A Talk by Dr. Dario Cvencek

Date & Time

19 January 2011, 00:00


NIE, MxL Studio @ Blk 5 Level 1 (NIE5-01-06)


Learning Sciences Lab (LSL)
Office of Education Research (OER)



Events Details

The underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in America is a societal problem with economic implications. I will present research that uncovers social–developmental mechanisms that may contribute to differential achievement by men and women in mathematics in the United States. We developed new implicit measures of math self-concepts to see how cultural stereotypes affect children’s concepts of their abilities in math. Using a sample of 250 American children, we found that elementary school children demonstrate the cultural stereotype that is prominent in the United States that boys do better than girls at math. This stereotype was documented in children as young as 7 years of age. In addition, we found that boys identify with math (that is, they have a stronger self-concept for math) more strongly than girls. This suggests that math–gender stereotypes develop early, prior to the ages at which differences in math achievement appear in formal schooling. Implications of these findings for teaching and cultural learning will be discussed. I will also describe recent adaptations of our measures for use with preschool children. The talk will conclude with a discussion of my research plan in Singapore elementary-school classrooms and the uses of our new measures for investigating cross-cultural differences.

Biography: Dr. Dario Cvencek

Postdoctoral Fellow
Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, 
University of Washington

Dr. Dario Cvencek is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from University of Washington and a B.A. from Boise State University. Dr. Cvencek is part of the National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center at the University of Washington. This interdisciplinary center brings together learning scientists, educators, cognitive psychologists, and developmental scientists from the UW, Stanford, and SRI. Dr. Cvencek’s research focuses on the psychology of personality and social development, particularly the developmental origins of social cognition. Dr. Cvencek’s research addresses stereotypes, attitudes, prejudice, and intergroup relations from a developmental perspective using implicit measures with children. Dr. Cvencek’s most recent research combines both developmental and social psychology to investigate the role of cultural stereotypes in the development of children’s identification with math.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Venue: NIE, MxL Studio @ Blk 5 Level 1  (NIE5-01-06)