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Title:Who’s brilliant – men or women? Measuring implicit stereotypes about gender across development
Author(s):Storage, Daniel
Director of Research:Cimpian, Andrei
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Pomerantz, Eva
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Baillargeon, Renée; Miller, Andrea; Shenouda, Christine
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Recent evidence suggests that women may be underrepresented in fields said to require high levels of intellectual ability (“brilliance”). These fields may be unwelcoming to women because of a pervasive “brilliance = men” stereotype. This hypothesis is termed the Field- specific Ability Beliefs (or FAB) Hypothesis (e.g., Leslie, Cimpian et al., 2017; Storage et al., 2016). While a wealth of evidence has established a link between the presence of beliefs about the importance of brilliance and women’s underrepresentation in a field, less work has been done to document the “brilliance = men” stereotype. The aim of the present work, then, was to provide evidence that people tend to associate intellectual giftedness with men over women. Across six studies (total N = 1,675), I devised systematic tests of people’s implicit biases about the brilliance of men vs. women, and found that children ages 9 and 10, undergraduates from the University of Illinois and New York University, general population adults from across the United States, and adults from 70 countries beyond the United States all tended to associate traits such as “genius” and “brilliant”—as well as less extreme descriptors, such as “intelligent” and “smart”—with men over women. Together, the results reveal a pervasive stereotype that associates intellectual ability with men more than women, which warrants further discussion and investigation.
Issue Date:2018-06-11
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Daniel Storage
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-27
Date Deposited:2018-08

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