Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 495–501 | Cite as

Gender bias in fame judgments: Implicit gender stereotyping or matching study phase fame?

  • Melanie C. SteffensEmail author
  • Axel Buchner
  • Silvia Mecklenbräuker
Brief Reports


Familiarized names are falsely judgedfamous more often than nonfamiliarized names. Banaji and Greenwald (1995) demonstrated a gender bias in thisfalse fame effect, with the effect being larger for male than for female names. This effect was interpreted as reflecting the operation of a gender stereotype. However, the famous male names were, in fact, better known than the famous female names. Thus, the presence of more famous male names during study may have contributed to the observed male-famous association. If so, there should be no gender bias if the studied famous male and female names are equally famous, and a reversed gender bias should emerge if the famous female names are more famous than the male names. In two experiments, these predictions were corroborated. A “classical” gender bias was found only when the famous males were more famous than the famous females. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the gender bias in fame judgments, rather than showing implicit gender stereotyping in the sense of a transsituational judgment bias, reflects the fact that, in test, participants select a proportion of fame judgments to male and female names so that it matches the relative degree of fame of male and female names encountered during study.


False Alarm Rate Study Phase Gender Bias Test Sheet Process Dissociation Procedure 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melanie C. Steffens
    • 1
    Email author
  • Axel Buchner
    • 2
  • Silvia Mecklenbräuker
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut für PsychologieFriedrich-Schiller-Universität JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Heinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany
  3. 3.UniversitätTrierGermany

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