Role Models in STEM. Research on Improving Education and Learning Outcomes: Women in math and science and racial/ethnic minority students in academics more generally are severely underrepresented. Among the many prominent explanations for this gender and race gap is the theory of stereotype threat (Steele & Aronson, 1995), which posits that there is a general “threat in the air” whenever a negatively stereotyped individual enters a situation where a negative, group-relevant stereotype might apply. It is argued that this threat is what undermines the performance and academic motivation of these individuals (Steele, 1997). Because of this, the STEPP Lab has focused on developing and refining an intervention known as the role model effect (Marx & Roman, 2002).
Vocal Cues Our voice is a primary source of communication. Yet we currently know very little about how the sound of our voice impacts and is impacted by the myriad of interactions that we engage in everyday. Previous and ongoing research in our lab include investigations of how vocal cues that vary between speakers but within their respective gender categories affect gender stereotypic inferences in a variety of social contexts. In relatively more recent projects, we examine objective acoustical cue changes that occur within speakers going from one situation to another and the role of these acoustic cue changes in accurate speaker judgments.