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Undergraduates’ pSTEM identity and motivation in relation to gender- and race-based perceived representation, stereotyped beliefs, and implicit associations


Women and underrepresented minoritized (URM) persons remain marginalized in physical science, technology, engineering, and math (pSTEM). Relative to non-URM men, URM women may experience a double disadvantage based on their gender and race whereby they observe few same-gender and few same-race role models in pSTEM while additionally internalizing stereotypes linking pSTEM with non-URM men. Our hypothesized model was partly supported in a sample of undergraduates ( N = 1,068; 68% women, 44% URM). First, perceiving same-gender or same-race pSTEM role models predicted lower explicit stereotypes among women and URM individuals regarding gender and race, respectively. Second, explicit and implicit associations linking pSTEM with men and White/Asian persons predicted (a) lower pSTEM identity among women and URM students and (b) higher identity among men and non-URM students. Finally, both implicit and explicit pSTEM identity positively predicted expectancy–value beliefs.

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