Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Evaluation Bias

A new study has found bias against female lecturers among student course evaluations, the Economist reports.

A trio of researchers examined nearly 20,000 faculty evaluations from Maastricht University students in a paper that is to appear in the Journal of the European Economic Association. Half the students had been assigned a female instructor and half a male one. The trio also examined students' grades, which were largely based on centralized exams.

As Friederike Mengel from University of Essex and Lund University and his colleagues write in their paper, they found that female instructors received systematically lower evaluation scores. The Economist notes that though female instructors were typically rated 37 slots below their male peers, students in their course sections did just as well and studied just as much as students in male-taught sections.

The Economist adds that male students were more biased than female students and that junior instructors were particularly affected by the bias, suggesting it might have tenure and other career ramifications.

It also notes that the study was conducted at a top European business school and if "the biases [the students] hold against the competence of their female teachers stick with them at the office, equality of the sexes in the workplace has a steep hill to climb."

The Scan

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.

Topical Compound to Block EGFR Inhibitors May Ease Skin Toxicities, Study Finds

A topical treatment described in Science Translational Medicine may limit skin toxicities seen with EGFR inhibitor therapy.

Dozen Genetic Loci Linked to Preeclampsia Risk in New GWAS

An analysis of genome-wide association study data in JAMA Cardiology finds genetic loci linked to preeclampsia that have ties to blood pressure.

Cancer Survival Linked to Mutational Burden in Pan-Cancer Analysis

A pan-cancer paper appearing in JCO Precision Oncology suggests tumor mutation patterns provide clues for predicting cancer survival that are independent of other prognostic factors.