Gender and Risk in Public Performance

Abstract

The scarcity of women as contestants on the nationally televised quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire provided the impetus to study gender and risk. In three simulated studies we investigated perception of risk and decision making about whether to engage in a televised public performance. Gender differences consistent with the risk assessment literature were found. Women considered going on the show to be more personally risky, were more concerned about doing poorly in public, and were less likely to risk entering their names. Results were discussed in terms of motivation to avoid negative social consequences. Implications of the findings for women's participation in public life are discussed.

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Correspondence to Judith E. Larkin.

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Larkin, J.E., Pines, H.A. Gender and Risk in Public Performance. Sex Roles 49, 197–210 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024689605569

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  • gender
  • risk
  • public performance
  • fear of negative evaluation
  • decision-making