Psychology Colloquium with Dr. Mary Murphy (Indiana University)

On September 22, 2017, from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm in 4M47, please join Dr. Mary Murphy, as she discusses Mindsets in Context: Exploring Mindsets in Educational and Organizational Settings. In her lecture, with its multidisciplinary applications, Dr. Murphy will demonstrate that “The cues hypothesis, a central tenant of the contextual approach to social identity threat, posits that subtle situational cues can trigger threat, even in the absence of overt prejudice or discrimination. The present research uses the cues hypothesis to investigate the psychological, motivational, and performance effects of several situational cues for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) settings. Specifically, in an experiment and a longitudinal, experience-sampling study, we examine how students’ perceptions of college instructors’ mindsets shape women’s experiences in STEM. Moreover, we explore how this cue interacts with others in the local environment to influence women’s sense of belonging, interpersonal concerns, and performance in STEM. Experimental data demonstrate that “experts” with fixed mindsets inhibit women’s STEM performance, particularly in contexts in which they form a minority. Data from the longitudinal study reveal that when women perceive their STEM professors to have a fixed mindset, it engenders identity threat in the classroom, and ultimately leads to reduced commitment to STEM fields over time. Results underscore the importance of examining the meaning that people draw from multiple situational cues to better understand the psychological experiences and outcomes of stigmatized individuals in mainstream settings.”

Dr. Murphy is a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana) and is the Director of the Mind and Identity in Context Lab. Read here, for more information on Dr. Murphy and her research.