Gender Gaps: Who Needs to Be Explained?

Dale T. Miller*, Brian Taylor, Michelle L. Buck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


The hypothesis that explanations for differences between prototypical and nonprototypical members of categories would focus more on attributes of the latter than on those of the former was examined. Explanations for alleged gender differences in the behavior of voters, elementary school teachers, and college professors were elicited. As predicted, explanations for gender differences within the 3 categories emphasized the qualities of the "deviant" member. Ss' explanations of alleged gender gaps in the behavior of voters and college professors focused more on qualities of women than on qualities of men. In contrast, Ss' explanations of an alleged gender gap in the behavior of elementary school teachers focused more on qualities of men than on qualities of women. The results are interpreted in terms of Kahneman and Miller's (1986) norm theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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