Replicating a self-affirmation intervention to address gender differences: Successes and challenges

  • Kost-Smith L
  • Pollock S
  • Finkelstein N
 et al. 
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We previously reported on the success of a psychological intervention implemented to reduce gender differences in achievement in an introductory college physics course. In this prior study, we found that the gender gap on exams and the FMCE among students who completed two 15-minute self-affirmation writing exercises was significantly reduced compared to the gender gap among students who completed neutral writing exercises. In a follow-up study we replicated the self-affirmation intervention in a later semester of the same course, with the same instructor. In this paper, we report the details and preliminary results of the replication study, where we find similar patterns along exams and course grades, but do not observe these patterns along the FMCE. We begin to investigate the critical features of replicating educational interventions, finding that replicating educational interventions is challenging, complex, and involves potentially subtle factors, some of which we explore and others that require further research.

Author-supplied keywords

  • conceptual learning
  • gender
  • introductory physics
  • self-affirmation
  • stereotype threat

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  • Akira MiyakeUniversity of Colorado at Boulder

  • Lauren E. Kost-Smith

  • Steven J. Pollock

  • Noah D. Finkelstein

  • Geoffrey L. Cohen

  • Tiffany A. Ito

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