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UW-Whitewater professor to lecture on gender gap in math at UW-Waukesha | Politics

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UW-Whitewater professor to lecture on gender gap in math at UW-Waukesha
Politics, Schools
UW-Whitewater professor to lecture on gender gap in math at UW-Waukesha

Shen Zhang, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, will present “Reducing the gender gap in math by unlinking the self from performance” Thursday, Feb. 23 at the UW-Waukesha.

The lecture will begin at noon in Commons 101. The event is free and open to the public, and free parking is available during the lecture. UW-Waukesha is located at 1500 N. University Drive in Waukesha.

Part of the Visions and Expressions lecture series, the talk will focus on Zhang’s study into the role of “stereotype threat” in women’s math test experiences.

“When women are doing a math test, they are at risk of confirming the negative stereotype that women are not good at math,” Zhang said. “This is a situational pressure called ‘stereotype threat.’ As a consequence, women’s math performance could be impaired and thus inadvertently confirm the stereotype.”

Zhang said she will discuss her findings on alleviating the negative stereotype threat effect.

Zhang received her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2005 and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Arizona before taking her current position in the Department of Psychology at UW-Whitewater. Her research examines how socio-cultural factors influence people’s cognition, attitude, and behaviors. One focus of her research is to understand the stereotype threat effect experienced by members of social groups, such as women and ethnic minority students.

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