Well done (for someone of your gender)! Experimental evidence of teachers’ stereotype-based shifting standards for test grading and elaborated feedback

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In three experiments (Ns = 327/137/210), we investigated whether test grades and elaborated feedback in a stereotypically male (Math) and a stereotypically female subject (German) are biased by the student’s gender. For this purpose, pre-service teachers graded and provided written feedback on tests which were allegedly from boys or girls. In addition, participants’ belief in stereotypes was measured in Study 1 and 2 and manipulated in Study 3 to test its moderating role. A meta-analysis across the three studies confirmed the following pattern: a small to moderate stereotype-contrasting grading bias, if the evaluators endorsed stereotypes, but no bias if they did not. Tests from the gender that, according to the stereotype, is weaker in the domain, were graded better. Study 1 and 3 further showed that the supposedly weaker gender received more elaborated feedback. The results are discussed in terms of shifting standards and previous findings in gender bias in school.

Translated title of the contributionGut gemacht (für jemanden deines Geschlechts)! Experimentelle Belege für stereotypenbedingt wechselnde Referenzstandards von Lehrkräften bei der Benotung und beim Feedback
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Psychology of Education
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)809-834
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 06.2021

Bibliographical note

SW acknowledges support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation)–WA 3538/4-1. MIC acknowledges support from the Fundaçâo para a Ciência e Tecnologia under grant agreement PTDC/PSI-ESP/30958/2017.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Psychology - Gender stereotypes, Performance evaluation, Grades, Marks, Feedback, Teacher, Gender bias, Stereotype endorsement, Shifting standards