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Women Aren’t Good in Math . . . or Are They?

A week ago in The Washington Post, Richard Morin pointed us to a set of studies that show that when you prime people with subtle cues, you can change their performance on tests.

The payoff conclusion comes in the last paragraph on the first page:

The gender gap closed dramatically, as women’s scores improved while men’s stayed the same. “There was no significant difference between men and women,” McGlone said. “With a pretty simple manipulation, we could significantly reduce this gap,” which suggests that “there might be things that make all of these biological factors go away.”

The Psych Central take-away from this is that tests don’t only test the materials they purport to test — they also test subtle biases in the ways the materials are presented. This has significant ramifications for any test that is used to help people make judgments about academic performance — from the SAT and LSAT, to the MCAS, GRE and more.

Source: Women Aren’t Good in Math . . . or Are They? – The Washington Post

Women Aren’t Good in Math . . . or Are They?

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder & CEO of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues -- as well as the intersection of technology and human behavior -- since 1992. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member and treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He writes regularly and extensively on mental health concerns, the intersection of technology and psychology, and advocating for greater acceptance of the importance and value of mental health in today's society. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2006). Women Aren’t Good in Math . . . or Are They?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 20, 2018, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 7 Sep 2006
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Sep 2006
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