New study shows students take stereotypes to heart

A new study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign show that young students believe that their ability to do something is partly based on natural ability. Known as “entity theory”, this belief can negatively impact achievement and performance.

Researchers conducted two experiments involving 144 children ages 4 to 7 and found that the young students academic performance was “impaired by exposure to information that associated success in the task at hand with membership in a certain social group…regardless of whether the children themselves belonged to that group.”

For example, the stereotype is that girls are not good at math. Both girls and boys internalize this stereotype which negatively affects girls and their performance in the subject .

Read more here.

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