Who's in charge? Effects of situational roles on automatic gender bias

Jennifer A. Richeson*, Nalini Ambady

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Sixty European American male and female participants' implicit gender-related attitudes were assessed prior to engaging in a cross-gender dyadic interaction, according to one of three situational roles (superior, subordinate, or equal-status partner). Results revealed that the social roles affected male participants' gender attitudes. Specifically, male participants who anticipated an interaction with a female superior revealed negatively biased evaluative attitudes about women. By contrast, males who expected to interact with a female equal-status partner or subordinate revealed attitudes that were biased in favor of women. This finding highlights the importance of situational factors in the generation of implicit attitudes regarding social groups. Specifically, the present data point to the influence of situational status on males' attitudes regarding women. Implications of this work for integration and diversity initiatives are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-512
Number of pages20
JournalSex Roles
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - May 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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