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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Allport, G. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Banaji, M. R. (1999, October). Implicit preferences. Invited address delivered at the 1999 meeting of the New England Social Psychological Association, Hanover, NH.
Banaji, M. R., & Greenwald, A. G. (1995). Implicit gender stereotyping in judgments of fame. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 181–198.
Banaji, M. R., & Hardin, C. (1996). Automatic gender stereotyping. Psychological Science, 7, 136–141.
Bargh, J. A., Chaiken, S., Govender, R., & Pratto, F. (1992). The generality of the automatic attitude activation effect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 893–912.
Bargh, J. A., Chen, M., & Burrows, L. (1996). Automaticity of social behavior: Direct effects of trait construct and stereotyping activation on action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 230–244.
Blair, I.V., Ma, J. E., & Lenton, A. P. (in press). Imagining stereotypes away: The moderation of implicit stereotypes through mental imagery. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Blalock, H. (1967). Toward a theory of minority relations. New York: Wiley.
Blumer, H. (1998). Race prejudice as a sense of group position. In M. W. Hughey (Ed.), New tribalisms: The resurgence of race and ethnicity (pp. 31–40). NewYork: NewYork University Press.
Bobo, L. (1998). Race, interests, and beliefs about affirmative action: Unanswered questions and new directions. American Behavioral Scientist, 41, 985–1003.
Brass, D. L. (1985). Men and women's networks: A study of interaction patterns and influence in an organization. Academy of Management Journal, 28, 327–343.
Carpenter, S., & Banaji, M. R. (1998, April). Implicit attitudes and behavior toward female leaders. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
Carpenter, S., & Banaji, M. R. (1999, April). Implicit attitudes toward female leaders. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association. Catalyst. (1996). The 1996 Catalyst census of the women board of directors of the Fortune 500. New York: Catalyst.
Conway, M., & Vartanian, L. R. (2000). A status account of gender stereotypes: Beyond communality and agency. Sex Roles, 43, 181–199.
Dasgupta, N., McGhee, D. E., Greenwald, A.G., & Banaji, M. R. (2000). Automatic preference for White Americans: Eliminating the familiarity explanation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 33, 316–328.
Devine, P. G. (1989). Stereotypes and prejudice: Their automatic and controlled components. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 5–18.
Dovidio, J. F., Kawakami, K., Johnson, C., Johnson, B., & Howard, A. (1997). On the nature of prejudice:Automatic and controlled processes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 30, 510–540.
Eagly, A. H., Makhijani, M. G., & Klonsky, B. G. (1992). Gender and the evaluation of leaders: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 111, 3–22.
Eagly, A. H., & Mladinic, A. (1989). Gender stereotypes and attitudes toward women and men. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 15, 543–558.
Fazio, R. H., Jackson, J. R., Dunton, B. C., & Williams, C. J. (1995). Variability in automatic activation as an unobtrusive measure of racial attitudes: A bona fide pipeline? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 1013–1027.
Fein, S., & Spencer, S. J. (1997). Prejudice as self-image maintenance: Affirming the self through negative evaluations of others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 31–44.
Fiske, S. T. (1998). Stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. In D. T. Gilbert & S. T. Fiske (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 357–411). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1996). The ambivalent sexism inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 491–512.
Greenwald, A. G., McGhee, D. E., & Schwartz, J. L. K. (1998). Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: The implicit association task. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1464–1480.
Hewstone, M., Johnston, L., & Aird, P. (1992). Cognitive models of stereotype change: II. Perceptions of homogeneous an heterogeneous groups. European Journal of Social Psychology, 22, 235–249.
Inman, M. L., & Baron, R. S. (1996). The influence of prototypes on perceptions of prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 727–739.
Jost, J., & Banaji, M. R. (1994). The role of stereotyping in system-justification and the production of false consciousness. British Journal of Social Psychology, 33,1–27.
Kanter, R. M. (1977). Men and women of the corporation. New York: Basic Books.
Kanter, R. M. (1993). Men and women: Equal partners? Executive Excellence, 10, 8–10.
Kunda, Z., & Oleson, K. C. (1995). Maintaining stereotypes in the face of disconfirmation: Constructing grounds for subtyping deviants. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 565–579.
Kunda, Z., & Sinclair, L. (1999). Motivated reasoning with stereotypes: Activation, application, and inhibition. Psychological Inquiry, 10, 12–22.
Lowery, B. S., Hardin, C. D., & Sinclair, S. S. (in press). Social tuning effects on automatic racial prejudice. Social influence effects on automatic racial prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Mehra, A., Kilduff, M., & Brass, D. J. (1998). At the margins: A distinctiveness approach to the social identity and social networks of underrepresented groups. Academy of Management Journal, 41, 441–456.
Ottaway, S. A., Hayden, D. C., & Oakes, M. A. (in press). Implicit attitudes and racism: The effect of word familiarity and frequency in the Implicit Association Test. Social Cognition.
Richeson, J. A., & Ambady, N. (in press). When roles reverse: Stigma, status, and self-evaluation. Journal of Applied Social Psychology.
Rosenthal, R., & Rosnow, R. L. (1991). Essentials of behavioral research (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Rudman, L. A. (1998). Self-promotion as a risk factor for women: The costs and benefits of counterstereotypical impression management. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 629–645.
Rudman, L. A., & Glick, P. (in press). Prescriptive gender stereotypes and backlash toward agentic women. Journal of Social Issues.
Rudman, L. A., & Kilianski, S. E. (2000). Implicit and explicit attitudes toward female authority. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 1315–1328.
Sidanius, J., & Pratto, F. (1993). The inevitability of oppression and the dynamics of social dominance. In P. Sniderman & P. Tetlock (Eds.), Prejudice, politics, and the American dilemma ( pp. 173–211). Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.
Tsui, A. S., Egan, T. D., & O'Reilly, C. A. (1992). Being different: Relational demography and organizational attachment. Administrative Science Quarterly, 37, 549–579.
Wilson, T. D., Lindsey, A., & Schooler, T. Y. (1999). A model of dual attitudes. Psychological Review, 107, 101–126.
Yoder, J. D. (1991). Rethinking tokenism: Looking beyond numbers. Gender and Society, 5, 178–192.
About this article
Cite this article
Richeson, J.A., Ambady, N. Who's in Charge? Effects of Situational Roles on Automatic Gender Bias. Sex Roles 44, 493–512 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1012242123824
- Social Psychology
- Social Group
- Female Participant
- Social Role
- Male Participant