Women were less interested in environments that contained objects stereotypically associated with computer science (e.g., Star Trek poster, video games) compared to identical environments that had non-stereotypical objects (e.g., nature poster, general interest books). These results help even when the proportion of women in the environment was equal across the two environments.
Cheryan,S., Plaut, V.C., Davies, P., & Steele, C.M. (2009). Ambient belonging: How stereotypical environments impact gender participation in computer science. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97(6), 1045-1060.
The study will lead to the development of a virtual psychology laboratory that can be used well beyond the project duration to study stereotypes. One primary goal of this study is to disseminate findings broadly to schools, universities and the general public so more positive educational environments can be developed to nurture the interest and aspirations of women to enter the STEM fields.