Document Type



Master of Arts



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Bettina J. Casad Ph.D.


Sandra E. Langeslag, Ph.D.

Suzanne E. Welcome, Ph.D.


Prior research has demonstrated that implicit gender-science biases discourage women from pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Gender-science biases promote the belief that women cannot be successful in STEM, which can affect women's sense of belonging and commitment to STEM. While women scientists serving as role models benefit women in STEM by decreasing implicit gender-science biases and increasing perceived belonging and performance in STEM, the influence of role model qualities on implicit bias has not been widely explored. The current study examined the influence role model qualities (hardworking, gifted) have on implicit gender-science bias. The research also explored whether individual differences, such as women’s perception of their possible science selves and implicit intelligence theories, moderate the relationship between role model qualities and STEM outcomes (e.g., bias and self-perceptions). Participants (N = 41) completed an online questionnaire, which assessed the individual differences of science possible selves and implicit intelligence theories as moderators and completed a measure of implicit gender-science bias. In the lab, participants watched a documentary-style video featuring a hardworking (or gifted) woman scientist role model. Participants then completed the measure of implicit gender-science bias while their electrophysiological indices of implicit bias (N400, N200) were assessed. Results indicated that role model qualities (hardworking, gifted) do not influence implicit gender-science bias, and that science possible selves and implicit intelligence theories do not moderate this relationship. These results do not support prior research but can aid in the development of more effective role model manipulations in lab settings.