Accuracy and bias in stereotypes about the social and political attitudes of women and men

Amanda B. Diekman*, Alice H. Eagly, Patrick Kulesa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


In three experiments examining the accuracy of gender stereotypes about attitudes, male and female participants estimated the attitudes of men or women on items that had been administered in the General Social Survey to assess attitudes on social and political issues. Demonstrating moderate stereotypic accuracy were correlations between (a) participants' estimates of these attitudes and (b) the criterion attitudes of male and female survey respondents and sex differences in the criterion attitudes. Nevertheless, analyses of discrepancies between the estimated and criterion attitudes revealed a systematic bias by which participants consistently underestimated men's support for female-stereotypic positions on issues. Further analyses of these data suggested that this error rose from perceptions that men would oppose policies that favored women's interests. In contrast, perceived female group interest functioned as a cue to accuracy in estimating women's attitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-282
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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