Our research group investigates how individuals navigate the social structure, and how the social structure influences perceived and actual characteristics of groups. My longstanding interest is in gender roles, and especially how gender roles have remained stable and changed over time. We explore how motivation intersects with the social structure to produce entry into or exist from specific social roles. In particular, we examine the antecedents and consequences of widespread beliefs that STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields do not afford communal goals (that is, opportunities for altruism or collaboration). Because gender roles emphasize communal attributes for women, these affordance beliefs can be an obstacle to women’s engagement in STEM. Activities that disrupt these stereotypic expectations – that is, those that highlight how STEM roles afford communal goals – yield motivational benefits.
- Diekman, A.B., & Benson-Greenwald, T.M. (2018). Fixing STEM workforce and teacher shortages: How goal congruity can inform individuals and institutions. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 5, 11–18. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2372732217747889
- Steinberg, M., & Diekman, A. B. (2018). Considering “why” to engage in STEM activities elevates communal content of STEM affordances. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 75, 107–114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2017.10.010
- Brown, E. R., Steinberg, M., Lu, Y., & Diekman, A. B. (2017). Is the “lone scientist” an American dream? Communal opportunities in science and engineering offer a pathway to closing US-Asia gaps in positivity. Social Psychology and Personality Science. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1948550617703173
- Diekman, A. B. , Steinberg, M., Brown, E. R., Belanger, A. L., & Clark, E. K. (2017). A goal congruity model of role entry, engagement, and exit: Understanding communal goal processes in STEM gender gaps. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 21, 142–175. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1088868316642141
- Fuesting, M.A., & Diekman, A.B. (2017). Not by success alone: Role models provide pathways to communal opportunities in STEM. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, 163-176. http://doi.org/10.1177/0146167216678857
- Schneider, M. C., Holman, M. R., Diekman, A. B. , & McAndrew, T. (2016). Power, conflict, and community: How gendered views of political power influence women’s political ambition. Political Psychology, 37, 515–531. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/pops.12268