Exploring the academic gender gap - Developing a measure of children's implicit academic stereotypes
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Several European studies indicate that boys and girls possess different academic stereotypes. More specifically, boys possess negative academic stereotypes, and girls possess positive academic stereotypes. A growing body of research suggest that groups possessing negative stereotypes show decreased performance on various tasks as a result of stereotype threat. As group membership and its associated stereotype becomes salient for the target individual, several automatic cognitive and affective processes are initiated, these processes ”steals” cognitive resources from the task at hand and results in poorer performance. The studies regarding academic stereotypes have all relied on direct measures (i.e., self-report) to indicate stereotypical beliefs. Self-report have on a general level proved to be vulnerable for invalidating issues like limited introspective access and response bias. As stereotyping and their activation are automatic processes, the current project have acted to complement the research field by developing an indirect audio-visual measurement procedure, designed to capture children´s implicit gender based academic stereotypes. The measurement procedure is based on the Implicit Association Test; inferring implicit cognitive associations between social constructs based on response latency. The procedure was implemented on a sample of young adults (N = 30, 15 females). The results indicate that there indeed exists an implicit pro-academic stereotype favouring females. The project concludes that the developed measurement procedure is valid and reliable enough to be used in further research.