College Women’s Self-Leadership Stereotypes as a Function of Prime Similarity and Motherhood Information
The goal of the study was to understand under what circumstances exposure to primes of women leaders can influence young women’s implicit and explicit identification with leadership gender stereotypes. Previous research has emphasized the importance of perceived similarity in terms of personality traits; the current study explored whether adding information regarding the role models’ motherhood status facilitated or impaired such models’ inspirational potential. Eighty-seven college women in the U.S. participated in the 2 X 2 design in which fabricated feedback indicated whether participants’ gendered personality traits were similar or dissimilar to six successful women role models, presented either as mothers or with no mention of mother status. As expected, exposure to the successful women leaders produced counterstereotypic implicit self-leader associations only in the similar mother-mentioned condition. That is, only the participants who were told they had similar traits to the women leaders who were mothers associated themselves with the agentic (counterstereotypical) traits of typical leaders. Explicit self-stereotypes were not influenced by either manipulation unless participants accepted the (false) feedback regarding (dis)similarity. Discussion emphasized the importance of perceived similarity as mediating the effectiveness of exposure to successful role models and the value of including information about the motherhood status of such models, at least for young women.
Susan Anne Basow,
College Women’s Self-Leadership Stereotypes as a Function of Prime Similarity and Motherhood Information, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences.
Vol. 8, No. 1,
2019, pp. 15-25.
Warner, Judith, & Corley, Danielle. (2017, May 21). The women’s leadership gap: Women’s leadership by the numbers. Center for American Progress. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2017/05/21/432758/womens-leadership-gap/.
Chira, Susan. (2017, July 21). Why women’s aren’t C. E. O.s, according to women who almost were. New York Times. Retrieved from https//nyti.ms/2tvCdj3, 7/21/17.
Asgari, Shaki, Dasgupta, Nilanjana, & Stout, Jane. (2012). When do counterstereotypic ingroup members inspire versus deflate? The effect of successful professional women on young women’s leadership self-concept. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 370-383. doi: 10.1177/0146167211431968.
Randsley de Moura, Georgina, Leicht, Carola, Leite, Ana C., Crisp, Richard J., & Gocłowska, Malgorzata A. (2018). Leadership diversity: Effects of counterstereotypical thinking on the support for women leaders under uncertainty. Journal of Social Issues, 74, 165-183. doi: 10.1111/josi.12262.
Caleo, Suzette, & Heilman, Madeline E. (2014). Is this a man's world? Obstacles to women's success in male-typed domains. In Ronald J. Burke and Debra A. Major (Eds.), Gender in organizations: Are men allies or adversaries to women’s career advancement? (pp. 217-233). Northampton, MA, US: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Eagly, Alice H., & Karau, Steven J. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychological Review, 109(3), 573-598. doi: 10.1037/0033-295X.109.3.573.
Johnson, Stefanie K., Murphy, Susan E., Zewdie, Selamawit, & Reichard, Rebecca J. (2008). The strong, sensitive type: Effects of gender stereotypes and leadership prototypes on the evaluation of male and female leaders. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 106, 39-60. doi: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2007.12.002.
Rudman, Laurie, & Phelan, Julie. (2010). The effect of priming gender roles on women’s implicit gender beliefs and career aspirations. Social Psychology, 41, 192-202. doi: 10.1027/1864-9335/a000027.
Killeen, Lauren A., Lopez-Zafra, Esther, & Eagly, Alice H. (2006). Envisioning oneself as a leader: Comparisons of women and men in Spain and the US. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30, 312-322. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2006.00299.x.
Sheppard, Leah D. (2018). Gender differences in leadership aspirations and job and life attribute preferences among U.S. undergraduate students. Sex Roles, 79, 565-577. Doi: 10.1007/s11199-017-0890-4.
Blair, Irene V., Ma, Jennifer E., & Lenton, Alison P. (2001). Imagining stereotypes away: The moderation of implicit stereotypes through mental imagery. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 828-841. doi: 10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2068.
Dasgupta, Nilanjana. (2013). Implicit attitudes and beliefs adapt to situations: A decade of research on the malleability of implicit prejudice, stereotypes, and the self-concept. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 233-279. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-407236-7.00005-X.
Shin, Jiyun E. L., Levy, Sheri R., & London, Bonita. (2016). Effects of role model exposure on STEM and non-STEM student engagement. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 46, 410-427. doi: 10.1111/jasp.12371.
Greenwald, Anthony G., & Banaji, Mahzarin R. (1995). Implicit social cognition: Attitudes, self-esteem, and stereotypes. Psychological Review, 102, 4–27. doi: 10.1037/0033-295X.102.1.4.
Betz, Diana, & Sekaquaptewa, Denise. (2012). My fair physicist? Feminine math and science role models demotivate young girls. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3, 738-746. doi: 10.1177/1948550612440735.
Hoyt, Crystal L. (2013). Inspirational or self-deflating: The role of self-efficacy in elite role model effectiveness. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 290-298. doi: 10.1177/1948550612455066.
Hoyt, Crystal L., & Simon, Stefanie. (2011). Female leaders: Injurious or inspiring role models for women?. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 35(1), 143-157. doi: 10.1177/0361684310385216.
Knobloch-Westerwick, Silvia, Kennard, Ashley R., Westerwick, Axel, Willis, Laura E., & Gong, Yuan. (2014). A crack in the crystal ball? Prolonged exposure to media portrayals of social roles affect possible future selves. Communication Research, 41, 739–759. doi: 10.1177/0093650213491113.
Hoyt, Crystal L., Burnette, Jeni L., & Innella, Audrey N. (2012). I can do that: The impact of implicit theories on leadership role model effectiveness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 257-268. doi: 10.1177/0146167211427922.
Simon, Stefanie, & Hoyt, Crystal L. (2012). Exploring the effect of media images on women’s leadership self-perceptions and aspirations. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 16, 232-245. doi: 10.1177/1368430212451176.
Morgenroth, Thekla, Ryan, Michelle K., & Peters, Kim. (2015). The motivational theory of role modeling: How role models influence role aspirants’ goals. Review of General Psychology, 19, 465-483. doi: 10.1037/gpr0000059.
Dasgupta, Nilanjana, & Asgari, Shaki. (2004). Seeing is believing: Exposure to counterstereotypic women leaders and its effect on the malleability of automatic gender stereotyping. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40, 642-658. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2004.02.003.
Lips, Hilary, & Lawson, Katie. (2009). Work values, gender and expectations about work commitment and pay: Laying the groundwork for the “motherhood penalty”? Sex Roles, 61, 667-676. doi: 10.1007/s11199-009-9670-0.
Correll, Shelley, Benard, Stephen, & Paik, In. (2007). Getting a job: Is there a motherhood penalty? American Journal of Sociology, 112, 1297-1339.
Goldberg, Wendy, Kelly, Erin, Matthews, Nicole, Kang, Hannah, Li, Weilin, & Sumaroka, Mariya. (2012). The more things change, the more they stay the same: Gender, culture, and college students’ views about work and family. Journal of Social Issues, 68, 814-837.endy.
Okimoto, Tyler, & Heilman, Madeline. (2012). The “bad parent” assumption: How gender stereotypes affect reactions to working mothers. Journal of Social Issues, 68, 704-724. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2012.01772.x.
Hodges, Allegra, & Park, Bernadette. (2013). Oppositional identities: Dissimilarities in how women and men experience parent versus professional roles. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105, 193-216. doi: 10.1037/a0032681.
Fuegen, Kathleen, Biernat, Monica, Haines, Elizabeth, & Deaux, Kay. (2004). Mothers and fathers in the workplace: How gender and parental status influence judgments of job-related competence. Journal of Social Issues, 60, 737-754. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-4537.2004.00383.x.
Aranda, Beatriz, & Glick, Peter. (2014). Signaling devotion to work over family undermines the motherhood penalty. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 17, 91-99. doi: 10.1177/1368430213485996.
Heilman, Madeline E., & Okimoto, Tyler G. (2007). Why are women penalized for success at male tasks?: The implied communality deficit. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 81-92. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.92.1.81.
Bem, Sandra. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155-162. doi: 10.1037/h0036215.
Qualtrics. (2014). Qualtrics (Version 2.017s) [Computer Software]. Provo, UT: Qualtrics.
Danbold, Felix, & Huo, Yuen J. (2017). Men's defense of their prototypicality undermines the success of women in STEM initiatives. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 7257-7266. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2016.12.014.
Lai, Calvin K., Hoffman, Kelly M., & Nosek, Brian A. (2013). Reducing implicit prejudice. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 7, 315-330. doi: 10.1111/spc3.12023.