Valerie Jones

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Valerie Jones
Graduate Dissertation Fellow 2007-08, Social Psychology

Valerie Jones is working on her dissertation entitled "The Pressure to Be Better & Work Harder: Contending with Perceived Inferiority in Threatening Domains". Her research explores whether members of stereotyped groups - specifically women in math and science fields and African Americans in academic domains - perceive that in order to be viewed as equally competent and qualified in their fields, they must 1) work harder than, and 2) perform better than, men and majority group members. Her research demonstrates that women in math and science fields perceive this pressure, and consequently expend more effort and resources to complete a given Math task than men. Further, Valerie is exploring whether this pressure may be linked to negative psychological and physiological health outcomes, such as significant increases in blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol. Valerie's research has important implications for explaining the performance disparities and attrition rates of women and minorities in domains in which they are negatively stereotyped.