Sex Roles

, Volume 44, Issue 9–10, pp 493–512 | Cite as

Who's in Charge? Effects of Situational Roles on Automatic Gender Bias

  • Jennifer A. RichesonEmail author
  • Nalini Ambady


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.


Social Psychology Social Group Female Participant Social Role Male Participant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dartmouth CollegeUSA;
  2. 2.Harvard UniversityUSA

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