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Pseudonyms Boost Women's Math Performance

A study has found that women perform better on math assessments if there's a name other than their own atop the test paper.

Shen Zhang (University of Wisconsin Whitewater) and her team gave 110 female and 72 male undergraduates a 30-question multiple choice math test. Some participants in the study wrote their own name on the test, while others used one of four aliases. 

Men scored better than women, but women who took the test under another name—male or female—did just as well as the men.

The researchers say their results attest to "the benefits of using non-name identification procedures in testing."

Read coverage of the study—"L'eggo My Ego: Reducing Gender Gap in Math by Unlinking the Self from Performance"—here (Smithsonian) or here (Research Digest).

Start Date: 
Wednesday, July 31, 2013