We propose that the propensity to think creatively tends to be associated with independence and self-direction—qualities generally ascribed to men—so that men are often perceived to be more creative than women. In a first study, we found that “outside the box” creativity is more strongly associated with stereotypically masculine characteristics (e.g., daring and self-reliance) than with stereotypically feminine characteristics (e.g., cooperativeness and supportiveness.) A second study found that a man is ascribed more creativity than a woman when they produce identical output. A third study analyzed archival data, and found that men’s ideas are evaluated as more ingenious than women’s ideas. Study four found that female executives are stereotyped as less innovative than their male counterparts when evaluated by their supervisors. Finally, we observed that stereotypically masculine behavior enhances a man’s perceived creativity, whereas identical behavior does not enhance a woman’s perceived creativity. This boost in men’s perceived creativity is mediated by attributions of agency, not competence, and predicts perceptions of reward deservingness.
Wednesday, December 09, 2015
Gender bias in the attribution of creativity
Slightly edited abstract from Proudfoot et al., who provide further examples of gender discrimination: