Heilman, M. E., Manzi, F., & Caleo, S. (2019). Updating impressions: The differential effects of new performance information on evaluations of women and men. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2019.03.010
In three experimental studies we investigated whether changes in performance would have different consequences on the competence perceptions and performance evaluations of women and men whose earlier performance had been unmistakably successful or unsuccessful. We reasoned that the ambiguity created by new performance information that was inconsistent with previous performance information would facilitate stereotype-based gender bias. The results provided support for this idea. Whereas no differences emerged between reactions to men and women when performance remained the same, differences emerged when performance changed. Moreover, regardless of the nature of the change in performance, in male gender-typed domains women were evaluated more negatively than men: an improvement in performance had a less beneficial effect for women than for men (Study 1) and a decline in performance had a more detrimental effect for women than for men (Study 2). These effects were shown to be moderated by the gender-type of the field. Women were evaluated more negatively than men whether performance improved or declined only when the field was male gender-typed; when the field was female gender-typed, men were evaluated more negatively than women (Study 3). These findings are consistent with the idea that gender stereotypes and the performance expectations they produce can influence responses to new information about men’s and women’s performance.
Manzi, F. (in prep). A change will (not) do you good. The effects of gender stereotypes on the updating of self-perceptions of competence. Preprint available upon request.
In this line of research I switch the focus from perceptions of others to self-perceptions. I address the question of how gender stereotypes and the performance expectations they produce affect the way men and women update their own self-perceptions of competence when their performance changes over time. I predict that when the setting is male in gender-type, improvements or declines in performance will disadvantage women relative to men. Specifically, a decline in performance is predicted to be more detrimental for women than for men – when performance declines, women’s self-perceptions of competence will decrease more than men’s self-perceptions of competence. Moreover, improved performance will benefit women’s self-perceptions less than men’s – when performance improves, there will be less of a positive change in competence perceptions among women than among men. I test these hypotheses in two experimental studies and a longitudinal field study.