Building blocks of bias: Gender composition predicts male and female group members’ evaluations of each other and the group

West, TV, ME Heilman, K Gullett, CA Moss-Racusin, & JC Magee.
2012. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 1209-1212

The present research examined how a group's gender composition influences intragroup evaluations. Group members evaluated fellow group members and the group as a whole following a shared task. As predicted, no performance differences were found as a function of gender composition, but judgments of individuals’ task contributions, the group's effectiveness, and desire to work with one's group again measured at a 10-week follow-up were increasingly negative as the proportion of women in the group increased. Negative judgments were consistently directed at male and female group members as indicated by no gender of target effects, demonstrating that men, simply by working alongside women, can be detrimentally affected by negative stereotypes about women. Implications for gender diversity in the workplace are discussed.

Wagner Faculty