Peterson, Biederman pen editor’s top pick


A paper published by Dave Peterson, Lori Biederman and others was selected as one of 2019’s top research papers in the area of behavioral and social sciences.

The paper, “Mitigating gender bias in student evaluations of teaching,” was published on PLOS ONE.

Student evaluations of teaching are widely believed to contain gender bias. In this study, we conduct a randomized experiment with the student evaluations of teaching in four classes with large enrollments, two taught by male instructors and two taught by female instructors. In each of the courses, students were randomly assigned to either receive the standard evaluation instrument or the same instrument with language intended to reduce gender bias. Students in the anti-bias language condition had significantly higher rankings of female instructors than students in the standard treatment. There were no differences between treatment groups for male instructors. These results indicate that a relatively simple intervention in language can potentially mitigate gender bias in student evaluation of teaching.