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.
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