Sex Roles

, Volume 14, Issue 7–8, pp 453–466 | Cite as

The effectiveness of men and women in problem-solving groups as a function of group gender composition

  • Jane M. Craig
  • Carolyn W. Sherif


Previous research suggests that the fewer women in a group, the less likely their ideas will be considered. The present study was designed to test the effect of gender composition on women's influence. Thirty groups were asked to solve two problems, first as individuals, then as groups. Composition and gender of the subject receiving a helpful clue were varied. Subjects rated the second task and members of the group, and a Bales Interaction Analysis was conducted. Results indicated that men were more influential than women only when in the minority, that women had smaller proportions of leadership acts than men, and that some stereotyped attitudes existed. Results were discussed in terms of previous findings, and suggestions for future research were made.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane M. Craig
    • 1
  • Carolyn W. Sherif
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park

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