Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2016

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 02/23/2019

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Rebecca Neel

First Committee Member

C. Daryl Cameron

Second Committee Member

Jason K Clark

Third Committee Member

Steven Hitlin

Fourth Committee Member

Paul D Windschitl


People commonly seek out role models when they want to achieve their goals because role models help people believe that success is possible and demonstrate how to achieve it. Because seeking out role models is a common occurrence, a great deal of research has been devoted to understanding the effects that they can have on those who look up to them. One effect that has not been previously examined is the extent to which role models can affect people’s certainty in their previous performance perceptions. Evaluative certainty is often increased for people when their performance perceptions are confirmed by the presence of a congruent stereotype: a phenomenon known as stereotype validation. Stereotype validation has been shown to effect women within stereotypically male domains. Importantly, higher evaluative certainty predicts negative downstream outcomes for these women, including lower beliefs in their math ability and reduced expectations for a future math performance. The goal of the current research was to investigate whether the salience of female role models reduces or enhances women’s evaluative certainty following stereotype validation. Four studies reveal partial support for the certainty reduction hypothesis. Stereotype-validated women are less certain of their poor performance perceptions when they are exposed to female role models.


xii, 118 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 113-118).


Copyright © 2016 Kelsey Thiem

Available for download on Saturday, February 23, 2019

Included in

Psychology Commons