n Gender and Behaviour - The effect of stereotype on cognitive performance : an experimental study of female cognitive performance




This study investigated the effect stereotypes have on cognitive performance. A between-subjects experimental design was utilized in the study. Forty participants from the senior secondary two (SS2) of Chapel Secondary School Ilorin took part in the study, and their cognitive performance in the light of exposure to a stereotype was measured. Four hypotheses were tested. Using the t-test for independent samples, the findings of the experiment showed that males performed better than females on a mathematics test when exposed to stereotype (t = 2.688, df = 18, p < 0.05). The study also found that males who were exposed to stereotype performed better than males who were not exposed to stereotype (t = 2.998, df = 18, p < 0.05). However, there was no significant difference in the performance of females who were exposed to stereotype and those who were not (t = 2.740, df = 18, p > 0.05). Stereotypes have been identified to affect the way people see things and the way they interpret certain behaviours of other individuals or groups. Therefore understanding the nature of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination is the first step in combating these practices.


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