Dr. Allison  Master

Dr. Allison Master


Title: Assistant Professor

Department: Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences

Program: Measurement, Quantitative Methods and Learning Sciences

Office Number: 318Q

Phone: 713-743-3186

Email: amaster@cougarnet.uh.edu

Website: https://uh.edu/education/iamlab/

CV: My Vita


Motivation is what helps students achieve their goals in school; it energizes them and drives their behavior. But motivation is not a fixed quality that students bring with them into the classroom--it can be shaped by many cues in the social environment. Dr. Master's research in the Identity & Academic Motivation Lab (I AM Lab) examines identity and its impact on academic motivation in childhood and adolescence. This work involves (a) how cultural stereotypes about gender and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) contribute to gender gaps in motivation to pursue STEM, and how to counteract the negative effects of stereotypes; (b) “wise” educational interventions that provide “identity-safe” cues, which show students that they will not be judged negatively based on their group memberships, including belonging and growth mindset interventions; and (c) childhood motivation for STEM learning, including how social connections promote young children’s motivation for STEM tasks. Her work is at the intersection of learning sciences, developmental psychology, and social psychology, applying insights from social psychology to improve STEM learning outcomes for students from preschool through college.

Dr. Master will be accepting graduate students for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Current Grants:
National Science Foundation (NSF), CSforAll, 2021-2024. Counteracting Stereotypes to Boost Girls’ Interest and Participation in Computer Science.

Recent Grants:
Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Cognition & Student Learning Exploration Grant, 2018-2023.
Gender Stereotypes in STEM: Exploring Developmental Patterns for Prevention.

National Science Foundation (NSF), Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST), 2018-2021. Who Likes Computer Science? How Gender Stereotypes about Interest Shape Children’s Motivation.


Recent Publications:

For a full list of publications, see:
Allison Master's Google Scholar Page

Master, A., Tang, D., Forsythe, D. H., Alexander, T., Cheryan, S., & Meltzoff, A. N. (In press.) Gender equity and motivational readiness for computational thinking in early childhood. Early Childhood Research Quarterly [Special issue: Examining computational thinking in early childhood].

Sampige, R., Tang, D., Frankel, L., & Master, A. (In press). Distance learning and perceived social support: Identifying protective factors for families’ COVID-related stress and psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly.

Master, A., Meltzoff, A. N., & Cheryan, S. (2021). Gender stereotypes about interests start early
and cause gender disparities in computer science and engineering. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118, e2100030118.

Master, A. (2021). Gender stereotypes influence children’s STEM motivation. Child Development Perspectives, 15, 203-210.

Zucker, T. A., Montroy, J., Master, A., Assel, M., McCallum, C., & Yeomans-Maldonado, G. (2021). Expectancy-value theory & preschool parental involvement in informal STEM learning. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 76, 101320.

Cvencek, D., Paz-Albo, J., Master, A., Herranz, C. V., Hervás, A., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2020). Math is
for me: A field intervention to strengthen math self-concepts in Spanish-speaking 3rd grade
children. Frontiers in Psychology, 11:593995.

Master, A., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2020). Cultural stereotypes and sense of belonging contribute to gender gaps in STEM. International Journal of Gender, Science, and Technology, 12, 152-198.

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., Butler, L. P., & Walton, G. M. (2017). How the subjective relationship between the self, others, and a task drives interest. In O'Keefe, P. A., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (Eds.), The science of interest (pp. 209-226). New York, NY: Springer.

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., 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.

Master, A., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2016). Building bridges between psychological science and education: Cultural stereotypes, STEM, and equity. Prospects, 46, 215-234.

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

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.



B.A. in Psychology, Yale University, 2003
M.A. in Developmental Psychology, Stanford University, 2007
Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, Stanford University, 2011