Student Research & Activities

UCCS Psychology Department student involvement with diversity related initiatives.

M.A. Students - Katie Oltz, Michelle Shields, Cynthia MalletteKatie, Michelle, and Cynthia conducted a content analysis for their Statistics II course titled “Add to Cart: A Content Analysis on STEM Toys’ Representation on Amazon.” The project abstract is as follows:

A child’s development can be influenced by environmental factors such as the toys they are exposed to. Research work investigating the role of toys in a child’s development suggests toys work to aid skill development and provide children with information about their environments, including societal norms. Recently, careers in STEM fields have gained attention, and toys designed to promote STEM learning have increased. As STEM toys increase in availability, it is important to understand how they are presented and how these presentations may impact developmental processes, specifically in terms of societal norms and social standards of gender and race. Currently, little to no work has investigated how themes of gender and race are presented in STEM toys’ content. A content analysis of STEM toys on (k=90) was conducted. Results suggest similar patterns of representation found within other areas of STEM where White children were depicted significantly more than non-White children across content. Additionally, while male and female children were depicted at similar rates, toys depicting males were rated higher in educational value. Together, previous and current findings on gender and race suggest that White male representational biases are not only present in STEM fields but also across various modes of STEM content.