Bias, Feminism, and the Psychology of Investigating Gender

Alice H. Eagly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Implicit judgmental biases compromise scientists' theories and research on the psychology of gender. One form of bias - social cognition - engages correspondent inference and the linked principle of psychological essentialism. Scientists thus typically favor explaining behavior by invoking personal traits that correspond to observed behaviors and by viewing the traits of men and women in essentialist terms. Scientists also exhibit ingroup bias based on their gender, which influences science through the linked principle of the congeniality bias in information processing, thus involving two basic phenomena of social psychology. Scientists therefore tend to favor theories and interpretations that flatter their own gender and shore up their gender identities. The equal representation of the sexes among researchers would help restrain the pro-male bias apparent in many of the traditional gender theories. These judgmental biases warrant further examination, in relation to not only gender research but also research pertaining to other social groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPsychology of Science
Subtitle of host publicationImplicit and Explicit Processes
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199950027
ISBN (Print)9780199753628
StatePublished - Sep 20 2012


  • Congeniality bias
  • Correspondent inference
  • Gender
  • Gender identity
  • Implicit biases
  • Ingroup bias
  • Judgmental biases
  • Psychological essentialism
  • Social cognition
  • Social psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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