O, due to societal stereotypes, have–or expect others to have–less confidence

O, due to societal stereotypes, have–or expect others to have–less confidence in their intellectual abilities. Members of these groups may feel that they do not belong in suchPLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0150194 March 3,2 /”Brilliant” “Genius” on RateMyProfessors Predict a Field’s Diversitybrilliance-focused fields (e.g., [12, 14]) and may experience greater feelings of anxiety and Peficitinib web threat because of the (likely) prospect of being judged negatively through the lens of their group membership (e.g., [15, 16]). Although individual-level variability in mindsets exposes select individuals to these processes, field-level beliefs that emphasize sheer brainpower make entire groups vulnerable (specifically, groups that are stigmatized for their presumed lack of brilliance). As a result, the combination of FABs and cultural stereotypes may provide a particularly powerful means of understanding imbalances in the gender and race composition of fields across academia and industry. Of course, these are not the only factors that could lead to such imbalances. For instance, boys and girls receive different socialization about math and science, both in the classroom (e.g., [17]) and at home journal.pone.0174109 (e.g., [18?0]); African American children are more likely to attend high-poverty, low-performing schools (e.g., [21, 22]); and so on. While factors such as these are undoubtedly part of a complete explanation for gender and race gaps, our investigation here will focus specifically on field-specific ability beliefs as a predictor of the field-by-field pattern of women’s and African Americans’ (under)representation among bachelor’s and PhD degree holders. Initial evidence supporting the FAB hypothesis was provided by a study of academics across 30 fields in science and engineering (STEM), SART.S23506 the FPS-ZM1 biological activity social sciences, and the humanities [1, 4]. To assess FABs, participants were asked to rate their agreement with several statements regarding what is required for success in their field. As predicted, fields that prized intellectual giftedness had significantly fewer women and African Americans earning PhDs. This relationship held over the entire sample of 30 fields, as well as when looking separately at STEM fields and at fields in the social sciences and the humanities. Moreover, this relationship held even when statistically adjusting for variables such as the work demands of these fields, their selectivity, and the GRE scores of their applicants.The Present ResearchIn the present research, we sought to provide a conceptual replication of the finding that women and African Americans are underrepresented in fields that emphasize intellectual giftedness. Rather than relying on survey methodologies, as in prior work [1, 5], here we measured a field’s emphasis on brilliance by analyzing the language used in course reviews on the popular website RateMyProfessors.com. In particular, we tallied the frequency with which college students taking courses in a particular field spontaneously commented on whether their professors were “brilliant” or a “genius.” Our assumption was that more frequent use of these terms within a field signals that students taking courses in that field routinely evaluate its members on their intellectual prowess, which might in turn suggest that the field as a whole values this trait. Thus, we hypothesized that this simple word count derived from students’ anonymous online evaluations can serve as a naturalistic proxy for a field’s emphasis on raw inte.O, due to societal stereotypes, have–or expect others to have–less confidence in their intellectual abilities. Members of these groups may feel that they do not belong in suchPLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0150194 March 3,2 /”Brilliant” “Genius” on RateMyProfessors Predict a Field’s Diversitybrilliance-focused fields (e.g., [12, 14]) and may experience greater feelings of anxiety and threat because of the (likely) prospect of being judged negatively through the lens of their group membership (e.g., [15, 16]). Although individual-level variability in mindsets exposes select individuals to these processes, field-level beliefs that emphasize sheer brainpower make entire groups vulnerable (specifically, groups that are stigmatized for their presumed lack of brilliance). As a result, the combination of FABs and cultural stereotypes may provide a particularly powerful means of understanding imbalances in the gender and race composition of fields across academia and industry. Of course, these are not the only factors that could lead to such imbalances. For instance, boys and girls receive different socialization about math and science, both in the classroom (e.g., [17]) and at home journal.pone.0174109 (e.g., [18?0]); African American children are more likely to attend high-poverty, low-performing schools (e.g., [21, 22]); and so on. While factors such as these are undoubtedly part of a complete explanation for gender and race gaps, our investigation here will focus specifically on field-specific ability beliefs as a predictor of the field-by-field pattern of women’s and African Americans’ (under)representation among bachelor’s and PhD degree holders. Initial evidence supporting the FAB hypothesis was provided by a study of academics across 30 fields in science and engineering (STEM), SART.S23506 the social sciences, and the humanities [1, 4]. To assess FABs, participants were asked to rate their agreement with several statements regarding what is required for success in their field. As predicted, fields that prized intellectual giftedness had significantly fewer women and African Americans earning PhDs. This relationship held over the entire sample of 30 fields, as well as when looking separately at STEM fields and at fields in the social sciences and the humanities. Moreover, this relationship held even when statistically adjusting for variables such as the work demands of these fields, their selectivity, and the GRE scores of their applicants.The Present ResearchIn the present research, we sought to provide a conceptual replication of the finding that women and African Americans are underrepresented in fields that emphasize intellectual giftedness. Rather than relying on survey methodologies, as in prior work [1, 5], here we measured a field’s emphasis on brilliance by analyzing the language used in course reviews on the popular website RateMyProfessors.com. In particular, we tallied the frequency with which college students taking courses in a particular field spontaneously commented on whether their professors were “brilliant” or a “genius.” Our assumption was that more frequent use of these terms within a field signals that students taking courses in that field routinely evaluate its members on their intellectual prowess, which might in turn suggest that the field as a whole values this trait. Thus, we hypothesized that this simple word count derived from students’ anonymous online evaluations can serve as a naturalistic proxy for a field’s emphasis on raw inte.

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