Allison Master, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

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Dr. Master is a research scientist working with Dr. Andrew Meltzoff and Dr. Sapna Cheryan. Before coming to the Institute, she earned a Ph.D. in developmental psychology at Stanford University, working with Dr. Carol Dweck, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Yale University. Her research interests include social-psychological processes that form the foundation of motivation, identity, and achievement from early childhood through adulthood, as well as how cues to personal identity or group membership may affect stereotyping and other social judgments and behaviors. Currently she is investigating how stereotypes may affect adolescents’ interest in STEM fields.



Master, A., & Meltzoff, A. N. (In press). Cultural stereotypes and sense of belonging contribute to gender gaps in STEM. International Journal of Gender, Science, and Technology.

Goyer, J. P., Cohen, G. L., Cook, J. E., Master, A., Apfel, N., Lee, W., Henderson, A. G., Reeves, S. L., Okonofua, J. A., & Walton, G. M. (2019). Targeted identity-safety interventions cause lasting reductions in discipline citations among minority boys. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 117, 229-259.

Master, A., Cheryan, S., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2017). Social group membership increases STEM engagement among preschoolers. Developmental Psychology, 53, 201-209.

Master, A., Cheryan, S., Moscatelli, A., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2017). Programming experience promotes higher STEM motivation among first-grade girls. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 160, 92-106.

Master, A., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2016). Building bridges between psychological science and education: Cultural stereotypes, STEM, and equity. Prospects, 46, 214–234.

Master, A., Meltzoff, A. N., & Lent, R. (2016). Neuroscience, psychology, and society: Translating research to improve learning. Prospects, 46, 191–198.

Master, A., Cheryan, S., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2016). Computing whether she belongs: Stereotypes undermine girls' interest and sense of belonging in computer science. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108, 424–437

Master, A., Cheryan, S., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2016). Motivation and identity. In K. R. Wentzel & D. B. Miele (Eds.), Handbook of Motivation at School, 2nd edition (pp. 300–319). New York, NY: Routledge.

Cheryan, S., Master, A., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2015). Cultural stereotypes as gatekeepers: Increasing girls’ interest in computer science and engineering by diversifying stereotypes. Frontiers in Psychology, 6:49.

Master, A., Cheryan, S., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2014). Reducing adolescent girls’ concerns about STEM stereotypes: When do female teachers matter? International Review of Social Psychology [Special issue: Stereotype threat in children], 27, 79-102.

Bryan, C. J., Master, A., & Walton, G. M. (2014). “Helping” vs. “being a helper”: Invoking the self to increase helping in young children. Child Development, 85, 1836-1842.

Romero, C., Master, A., Paunesku, D., Dweck, C. S., & Gross, J. J. (2014). Academic and emotional functioning in middle school: The role of malleabitity beliefs. Emotion,14, 227-234.

Yeager, D. S., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Garcia, J., Apfel, N., Brzustoski, P., Master, A., Hessert, W. T., Williams, M. E., & Cohen, G. L. (2014). Breaking the cycle of mistrust: Wise interventions to provide critical feedback across the racial divide. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 804-824.

Master, A., & Walton, G. M. (2013). Minimal groups increase young children’s motivation and learning on group-relevant tasks. Child Development, 84, 737-751.

Master, A., Markman, E. M., & Dweck, C. S. (2012). Thinking in categories or along a continuum: Consequences for children’s social judgments. Child Development, 83, 1145-1163.

Dweck, C. S., & Master, A. (2009). Self-concept. In W. Carey, A. Crocker, E. Elias, H. Feldman, & W. Coleman, (Eds.), Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, 4th ed (pp. 427-435). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

Dweck, C. S., & Master, A. (2009). Self-theories and motivation: Students’ beliefs about intelligence. K. Wentzel & A. Wigfield (Eds.), Handbook on Motivation at School (pp. 123-140). New York: Routledge.

Lepper, M. R., Master, A., & Yow, W. Q. (2008). Intrinsic motivation in education. In M. L. Maehr, S. A. Karabenick, & T. C. Urdan (Eds.), Advances in Motivation and Achievement, Volume 15: Social Psychological Perspectives (pp. 521-555). Bingley, UK: Emerald.

Cohen, G. L., Garcia, J., Apfel, N., & Master, A. (2007). A self-affirmation intervention to reduce the racial achievement gap. In E. Aronson & J. Aronson (Eds.), Readings about the Social Animal, 10th edition (pp. 304-315). New York: Worth Freeman.

Dweck, C. S., & Master, A. (2007). Self-theories motivate self-regulated learning. In D. H. Schunk & B. Zimmerman (Eds.), Motivation and Self-Regulated Learning: Theory, Research, and Applications (pp. 31-51). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Cohen, G. L., Garcia, J., Apfel, N., & Master, A. (2006). Reducing the racial achievement gap: A social-psychological intervention. Science, 313, 1307-1310.