Does Shared Gender Group Membership Mitigate the Effect of Implicit Bias Attributions on Accountability for Gender-Based Discrimination?

Natalie M. Daumeyer*, Ivuoma N. Onyeador, Jennifer A. Richeson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Attributing gender discrimination to implicit bias has become increasingly common. However, research suggests that when discrimination is attributed to implicit rather than explicit bias, the perpetrators are held less accountable and deemed less worthy of punishment. The present work examines (a) whether this effect replicates in the domain of gender discrimination, and (b) whether sharing a group membership with the victim moderates the effect. Four studies revealed that both men and women hold perpetrators of gender discrimination less accountable if their behavior is attributed to implicit rather than explicit bias. Moreover, women held male (Studies 1–3), but not female (Study 4), perpetrators of gender discrimination more accountable than did men. Together, these findings suggest that while shared gender group membership may inform judgments of accountability for gender discrimination, it does not weaken the tendency to hold perpetrators less accountable for discrimination attributed to implicit, compared with explicit, bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • bias attribution
  • discrimination
  • gender dynamics
  • implicit versus explicit bias
  • social identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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