Higher social power increases occupational gender stereotyping in Chinese culture

  • Xiaobin Zhang
  • Qiong LiEmail author
  • Bin ZuoEmail author
Research Article


Prior studies have used the perspective of the social function of social power (such as how power affects interpersonal interaction between the powerful and the powerless) to explore how powerful people stereotype powerless people. In the present research, we further explored how high and low levels of social power affect occupational gender stereotyping from the perspective of how social power affects cognitive processing, that is, social categorization. We proposed that higher social power-primed participants, compared to low social power-primed participants, would be more inclined to use category-based representation and thus use stereotyping. In two studies, we investigated these effects and found that high social power, compared to low social power, increased occupational gender stereotyping in Chinese culture.


Social power Social categorization Occupational gender stereotyping 



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (31760287, 31400902, 31571147) and the Humanity and Social Science Youth Foundation of the Ministry of Education of China (14YJC190025).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyNorthwest Normal UniversityLanZhouChina
  2. 2.School of PsychologyCentral China Normal UniversityWuhanChina

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