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College Women’s Self-Leadership Stereotypes as a Function of Prime Similarity and Motherhood Information
Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
Volume 8, Issue 1, February 2019, Pages: 15-25
Received: Dec. 26, 2018; Accepted: Jan. 22, 2019; Published: Feb. 21, 2019
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Susan Anne Basow, Department of Psychology, Lafayette College, Easton, USA
Emily Crawford, Department of Psychology, Lafayette College, Easton, USA
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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.
Role Models, Implicit Stereotypes, Leadership Stereotypes, Gender Stereotypes, Motherhood, Implicit Attitudes
To cite this article
Susan Anne Basow, Emily Crawford, 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. doi: 10.11648/j.pbs.20190801.13
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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