Target Article: Murphy, M. C., Steele, C. M., & Gross, J. J. (2007). Signaling threat: How situational cues affect women in math, science, and engineering settings. Psychological Science, 18, 879-885.

Video Summary: A male professor (Carl) is not concerned when he goes into the men’s bathroom with two male graduate students (Peter and Kee Youn), leaving the only woman (Chen) in the group trying to learn from him out in the hallway. Chen misses important information and must rely on Peter and Kee Youn to catch her up.

Suggested Discussion Questions

  • What do you think of Carl’s behavior? Do you think this really happens? (Side note: this definitely happens. Not only was this scene based directly on someone’s experience,  but other workshop attendees have noted this has happened to them)
  • Do you think Carl’s behavior was intentional? Why or why not?
  • How did Kee Youn and Peter act in this situation? What could they have done differently?
  • Do you think Kee Youn and Peter noticed they were benefiting from this situation?
  • What could Chen do to try to prevent this situation from happening again? Anything? Talk to Carl or Kee Youn and Peter?
  • What messages do Carl’s actions send to Chen, Peter, and Kee Youn about Chen’s future in science?