Presentation Title: Spreading Self-Affirmation: The Positive Impact of Awareness

Section: High Aspirations III

Location: , 216

Date & Time: Friday, April 19, 2013 - 2:30pm - 2:45pm


The benefits of self-affirmation, where one’s self-concept is validated through reflection upon important personal values, has been shown to increase math performance. After contemplating their personal values, people found to experience stereotype-related declines in math performance (such as women in mathematics) instead perform at levels consistent with their actual ability. One study, however, found that awareness of the potential benefits of a self-affirmation exercise may in actuality undermine its effects.  The goal of my thesis was to explore strategies to reverse this undermining effect. Participants completed a self-affirmation writing exercise before taking a math SAT test. Half of the participants who were made aware of the benefits of the exercise (undermining) also received information intended to bolster the self-affirmation effect (reversing the undermining). The hypothesized results predict a higher mathematics performance for participants who received a reversal of the undermining effect.

Type of Presentation: Individual oral

Oral presenters
Presentation Area: Psychology

Presentation Topic: Education

Arts presenters

Class Project
Course name: 
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Presenter Information
Presenter(s): Kalter, Molly Stafford
Major(s): Psychology; Minor: Elementary Education
Class Year(s): 2013.5

Sponsor(s): Velez, Carlos
Dept(s): Psychology

Moderator: ,