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When he came to the United States 12 years ago, Edgar velasquez barely spoke a word of English. For most of his first year, the 14-year-old Mexican immigrant went to the library after school to read the dictionary and decided to learn the minimum requirements of 250 words – basic dialogue.

At home, velazquez often does his homework in the bathroom. He recalled that it was the quietest place in his 500-square-foot Tenderloin studio, a San Francisco neighborhood with needles on the floor and homeless people on the streets.

His hard work paid off. Miss velasquez graduated from San Francisco state university last year with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He is applying to medical school now. On a recent Monday morning, sipping coffee at the student center, he spoke calmly about his trip.

However, Bella, recalls that when meet with the school instructor or lab supervisor, he is worried about his accent, and stressed that they might think of him, which is engaged in biomedical career rare Latin americans. Sometimes, he says, “I’m so nervous that I can hardly say a word together.”

Psychologists call this fear a “stereotype threat”, a fear of negative attitudes towards individual social groups. “Most of the time it’s unconscious, but it takes up energy,” said LeticiaMarquez Magana, a professor of biology at SFSU.

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At the time, velasquez did not realize that his feelings were common among the minority, especially those who were underrepresented in the field of science and technology.

Stereotype threat can increase a person’s heart rate, increase stress hormones, consume working memory, and reduce the amount of brain power at hand. Studies have shown that such concerns may stifle women and minorities in math exams. These experiences foster a sense of inadequacy and isolation, leading some to abandon the course and even leave the science.

SFSU researchers developed a short online tutorial, education students’ threat to stereotype. They are those who are unlikely to be engaged in scientific research of ethnic minorities, and in a recent study shows that the plan to help the students to perform better in school, and establish the spirit of the elastic against future threats.

The work is part of the university’s effort to create a safe, positive culture where a minority of more than half of the student population can thrive. The project, led by marquez-magana, is called SF BUILD.

The university launched the $17 million grant from the national institutes of health in the fall of 2014. SF BUILD is one of 10 NIH sponsored web testing strategies designed to expand the number of students choosing biomedical careers.

Of course, diversity initiatives are not new. For decades, the national institutes of health used them to recruit more minority researchers. But until recently, the United States national institutes of health science workforce diversity, chief scientist for Hannah, LanDiNa (Hannah Valantine), said the agency has not yet been launched in concerted way these plans, see if they make a difference.

After examining the 2011 analysis, the institute found that African americans were less likely than white applicants to receive NIH research funding, and therefore pushed for deeper research. It has set up a committee to deal with “how do we enhance the diversity of scientific work team this big problem”, Valantine said: “to understand what kind of plan effectively, how to work, and work for who.

When the NIH asked the university to come up with a new strategy to improve the diversity of biomedicine, Marquez – Magana went to her colleague, cognitive psychologist Avi ben-zeev. Benzyf studies the threat of stereotypes. The two work together to build and test web-based tutorials for students. These findings appear in the June issue of the education science.

The results show that the direct to discuss the phenomenon of stereotype threat seems to help minority students under-represented in science, if not better, so the traditional way is not devoted to stereotype, but support for students.

Past research has shown that minority students can get help by being encouraged to think about things they care about like sports, friends or religion. This is called affirmative training. Stanford university psychologist Greg Walton (Greg Walton) said, require students to remember these values, cultivate the broader sense of self, and make the individual threats such as the math exam look less daunting. In fact, a study by Walton and colleagues shows that so-called confirmation training can improve women’s attitudes toward school and improve their science GPA.

But sometimes reliance is not enough. Ben-zeev said: “there is no accepted or public discussion that can affect your stereotype.

He and his colleagues have come up with a more direct way to teach students about the threat of stereotypes and then have them develop coping strategies based on how they successfully deal with past threats. The online tutorial they developed is called the “EmPower” truth (STEP).

To test, the researchers recruited 670 undergraduate students of all RACES, technology, engineering and mathematics, and gave them a set of abstract reasoning problems. They tell students that these are difficult questions to measure intelligence. It’s a subtle comment, but it’s enough to threaten the stereotype of the vulnerable.

Participants were randomly assigned to non-intervention, positive training, or new STEP tutorial. For each, the researchers noticed their jigsaw scores and examined their scores at the end of the semester.

In solving the puzzle, both the affirmative and the STEP have fundamentally erased the underperformance of black, latino, latino and American students. To some extent, STEP has also improved math and science scores among these underrepresented minorities. The results are encouraging, “because some people think that telling the truth may make people worse,” Mr. Benzyf said.

There is also a third part of the analysis – a survey that measures how much a person is concerned with stereotypes. “It’s a weakness to start caring about something you’ve never thought about doing, or that your team shouldn’t,” says ben-zeev. Ben Zeev said. He grew up in Israel, where working-class parents didn’t expect him to go to college.

He says it is important to weigh the concerns of stereotypes because it predicts that one person will easily succumb to these threats. In this study, STEP lowered the stereotype of vulnerable groups – but it certainly didn’t.

So while both interventions improved test performance, STEP seemed to be better at creating resilience. “If people are constantly threatened, it may be necessary to talk about the stereotype threat and start thinking about how to deal with it more directly,” walden said.

In addition to creating student interventions, marquez-magana and her colleagues also hosted seminars on the threat of stereotyping in teacher evacuation and orientation programs. They also discuss these topics while training older students for STEM courses.

It was one of those training sessions when venezuela first heard the term threat a few years ago. “At last it makes sense,” he recalls. Think of your own path to science. “that’s what I feel on so many occasions.”


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