Girls perform better when they are asked to "do science" rather than putting thoughts on them to become a scientist, according to a new research by Marjorie Rhodes, an associate professor of Department of Psychology at New York University.
It is a fact that women are under-represented in science and differences in science achievements between boys and girls begin from childhood itself, according to Rhodes and co-author of the study Sarah-Jane Leslie of Princeton's University. Girls should be guided to action in science rather than putting before them an identity of a scientist to be acquired later in life. The conclusion is based on research studies conducted among children in the 4-9 age group who played a game of science. The girls who were told in the beginning to ‘do science’ were more persistent than those who were told to ‘be scientists.’ The study conducted among boys were more variable as older boys tend to take science if the language used to encourage them was 'identity oriented'.
The research results may help in using appropriate strategies for boys and girls in schools to encourage them to positively think about doing an activity. This could help them in the choice of careers based on their interest and aptitude.