Please read the following instructions CAREFULLY! THANKS!


  • Course: Psychology of Thinking
  • Assignment: Written/Essay Assignment
  • I will upload all the resources/readings/notes…etc (Dar-Nimrod, I., & Heine, S. J. (2006). Exposure to scientific theories affects women’s math performance. & all the lecture notes-pdf) that you will need for writing this essay.


Guidelines given from my professor:

  • All questions must be answered.
  • Do not include a reference page, but do use in‐text citation.
  • The lectures (pdf) and Dar‐Nimrod &Heine (2006) are the only external sources you may cite. Use APA style when citing any source. To reference a lecture, cite it as “(Spaniol lecture, 2009).” – Spaniol is my professor’s last name.
  • Do not copy the text of the questions in your write‐up. Use numbering (1., 2., etc.) to indicate which question you are answering.
  • Each answer should be approximately half a page long, single‐spaced. The overall length is not to exceed 3 pages (single‐spaced), not including the title sheet.
  • Formatting: single‐spaced, 12‐point Times New Roman font, 1‐inch (top, bottom, left, and right) margins.
  • Triple Check spelling and grammar before you submit.

How is the assignment evaluated?

  • The assignment is worth 25% of your final grade. It is scored out of 50 (10 pts./question).
  • What we look for:
    • Responses that are accurate, coherent, and insightful (7 pts./question).
    • Explicit integration of own thoughts, ideas presented in the reading, and concepts that were covered in the course (2 pts./question).
    • Good writing: spelling, grammar, organization, flow (1 pt./question).
  • Failure to follow the specifications for length and format will result in point deductions.

What does it involve?

  • External reading (Dar‐Nimrod & Heine, 2006) and five discussion questions.
  • The questions require you to integrate the reading with concepts that we have covered in the course (lecture notes-pdf).

The 5 questions below refer to the following article:

  • Dar-Nimrod, I., & Heine, S. J. (2006). Exposure to scientific theories affects women’s math performance. Science, 314, 435.
  • Note that I have included supporting online material (containing additional information on the experimental methods used in this study, and published on the journal website rather than as part of the article itself) in the PDF file(Dar-Nimrod, I., & Heine, S. J. (2006).)



  1. Define ‘stereotype threat’ in your own words. Choose one of the cognitive domains we have discussed in the course (attention, memory, language, reasoning), and discuss its possible contribution to stereotype threat.
  2. Based on Dar-Nimrod and Heine’s (2006) findings, what recommendations would you make to educators and parents seeking to increase the representation of women in math and science?
  3. At a campus panel discussion, Speaker A argues that more research into genetic determinants of academic achievement is needed. Speaker B opposes this type of research. Present an argument in favour of Speaker A’s position, and a separate argument in favour of Speaker B’s position. The arguments should meet the following criteria:

a)  Each argument should contain at least one premise, one conclusion, one qualifier, and one counterargument.

b)  The arguments should be sound, that is, they should contain true premises and valid conclusions.

c)   You should label each component as in the following example: “Brand-name clothes are expensive (PREMISE 1) and are often produced in sweatshops (PREMISE 2). Therefore, I think people should boycott these clothes (CONCLUSION).”

d)  Speaker B’s argument should make explicit reference to the Dar-Nimrod & Heine (2006) findings.

  1. Dar-Nimrod and Heine’s (2006) study leaves many questions about stereotype threat unanswered. If you received a grant to follow up this work, what research question about stereotype threat would be of interest to you? Explain how your question extends or builds upon the study by Dar-Nimrod and Heine (2006). Finally, describe your hypothesis (i.e., the result you would expect to find).
  2. Describe the method you would use in your study (participants, independent and dependent variables, procedure). Identify at least one potential limitation of your method.

You will need the following info to help you on writing this essay.

Historical Context:

  • Comments made by Lawrence Summers, then‐President of Harvard
  • University, at the “Conference on Diversifying the Science & Engineering
  • Workforce“ held by the National Bureau of Economic Research
  • Proposed 3 hypotheses to explain under‐representation of women among tenured faculty in sciences and engineering at top research universities:
    • “High‐powered job hypothesis”: Women may be less willing to work 80 hours per week in tenure‐track (or other high‐powered) jobs.
    • “Different availability of aptitude at the high end”: IQ may be less variable (i.e., smaller standard deviation) among women than among men; if so, there would be fewer women at the extreme high and low ends of the IQ distribution
    • “Discrimination”: Women may be subject to discrimination and stereotyping.
  • The comments sparked a campus‐ and nation wide controversy that contributed to Summers’ resignation as President of Harvard University.

Please read the instructions CAREFULLY! THANKS!

Triple Check the paper (spelling and grammar) before you submit.

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