OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Social Comparison and Shifting in Quantitative Performance


Ashlee Pardo


Past studies by Shih and colleagues (1999) and Cheryan and Bodenhausen (2000) have produced conflicting results in terms of positive stereotypes enhancing and impairing performance in mathematics among Asian-American women. The current study aims to examine a potential reason for this discrepancy. In a sample of Latino men, we examine how cues that make people aware of their gender or ethnic identities might influence their performance on mathematics test depending on whether their identity is positively or negatively stereotyped in mathematics, and whether they are induced to make intergroup or intragroup comparisons. Results will show that gender salient with the Shih method will lead to better performance on the mathematics test. And in contrast, gender salient with the Cheryan method will lead to worse performance on the mathematics test. Results will have important implications for understanding the consequences of positive stereotypes and its effect depending on the direction of the comparison.

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