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Women and computers: effects of stereotype threat on attribution of failure

Koch, Sabine C. ; Müller, Stephanie M. ; Sieverding, Monika

In: Computers & education, 51 (2008), pp. 1795-1803. ISSN 0360-1315

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This study investigated whether stereotype threat can influence women’s attributions of failure in a computer task. Male and female college-age students (n = 86, 16–21 years old) from Germany were asked to work on a computer task and were hinted beforehand that in this task, either (a) men usually perform better than women do (negative threat condition), or (b) women usually perform better than men do (positive condition), or (c) they received no threat or gender-related information (control group). The final part of the task was prepared to provide an experience of failure: due to a faulty USB-memory stick, completion of the task was not possible. Results suggest a stereotype threat effect on women’s attribution of failure: in the negative threat condition, women attributed the failure more internally (to their own inability), and men more externally (to the faulty technical equipment). In the positive and control conditions, no significant gender differences in attribution emerged.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Computers & education
Volume: 51
Publisher: Elsevier
Place of Publication: Exeter [u.a.]
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2015 12:25
Date: 2008
ISSN: 0360-1315
Page Range: pp. 1795-1803
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies > Institute of Psychology
Subjects: 150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Stereotype threat; Gender; Attribution of failure; Computer domain; College-age students
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