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Implicit Gender Role Associations and Spatial Skills

Presenters Name: 
Maxime Pierre-Louis
Co Presenters Name: 
Primary Research Mentor: 
Jamie Jirout
Secondary Research Mentor: 
11:00 - 12:15
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
Newcomb Hall Ballroom
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Social Science
Grant Program Recipient: 
USOAR Program

The current research that is being conducted in the psychology department is one that involves assessing individual spatial skills, abstract reasoning skills, understanding if people have implicit association toward gender roles and gender spatial play. As individuals grow older, the type of toys that they choose to play with is heavily influenced by their parents. Their parents often recommend or buy specific toys for them which leads to them becoming fond of those particular toys. This study aims to better understand if there is an implicit gender association in relation to certain toys and how that influences certain people’s spatial and reasoning skills. This kind of research has the potential to shed light on how a field like STEM is largely dominated by the male gender and could help establish a better equilibrium between both genders and more opportunity. In order to conduct this particular study, the methods of inquiry used were an online survey created by the research team, a mental rotation test, as well as an implicit association test conducted on a computer using a software called IAT. The individuals that are being studied are undergraduate students at the University of Virginia, but also children as well. In order for this test to be applicable to children, we made it fairly straightforward for any age group to understand.