Research on Gender

I completed an undergraduate degree in computer science and worked as a computer programmer for 10 years. Then I went back to school and earned a PhD in Psychology. I am aware of the “leaky pipeline”, and the intense interest in understanding why women drop out of STEM fields, which leaves me wondering about my own experience in leaving computer science (though Psychology is a STEM field too). What I have come to realize is that many of the barriers to greater gender equality are subtle and possibly unintentional, and sometimes people hold themselves back. I was fascinated to hear about the (corporate) research finding that women tend not to apply to a job unless they match all the job specifications, whereas men will apply if they meet even a few of the job specifications. Now that I know, I have pushed myself to apply for things even when I haven’t feel fully qualified. But of course that may affect how I am perceived by others. These personal issues have led to me pursuing research questions related to gender:

  • What encourages/prevents people from asking questions? Do men and women ask different kinds of questions? Are they perceived differently when they ask the same questions?
  • Do women and men tend to help in different ways? Do people avoid helping in ways that are gender non-stereotypic because they fear judgment?

Click to access each publication and each media article. If you would like to read a paper, but can’t access it, please email me and I’d be happy to send a copy for your personal use. Click here for resources.


Croft, A., Atkinson, C., Sandstrom, G.M., Orbell, S., Aknin, L.B. (in press). Loosening the GRIP (Gender Roles Inhibiting Prosociality) to promote gender equality. Personality and Social Psychology Review.

Carter, A.J., Croft, A., Lukas, D., Sandstrom, G.M. (2018). Women’s visibility in academic seminars: women ask fewer questions than men. PLoS ONE.

Selected Media Coverage

Research talk