In the Spring 2010 semester, we conducted a double-blind randomized study in a large introductory physics class for STEM majors to test the effectiveness of the values affirmation intervention in reducing the gender achievement gap. The results of the study indicated that values affirmation writing exercises, administered twice at the beginning of the semester, substantially reduced the performance differences between men and women on in-class exams and an end-of-semester test of conceptual mastery in an introductory physics course. Values affirmation reduced the male-female performance and learning difference substantially and elevated women's modal grades from the C to B range. Benefits were strongest for women who tended to endorse the stereotype that men do better than women in physics.
These results are described in the following paper that is scheduled to be published later in the Science magazine (the November 26, 2010, issue).
Miyake, A., Kost-Smith, L. E., Finkelstein, N. D., Pollock, S. J., Cohen, G. L., & Ito, T. A. (2010). Reducing the gender achievement gap in college science: A classroom study of values affirmation. Science (the November 26, 2010, issue).