Divergent effects of system justification salience on the academic self-assessments of men and women

Virginie Bonnot, John T. Jost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on system justification theory, we hypothesized that, when the salience of system justification concerns are high, both men and women would bias estimates of their own and their group's academic competence so as to make them more congruent with complementary gender stereotypes concerning mathematical and verbal abilities. Results show that, compared to men, women reported lesser competence and recalled lower achievement scores in math following the activation of system justification concerns, while at the same time reporting greater competence in verbal domains, albeit less strongly. Concerning perceptions of their group's competence, men endorsed complementary gender stereotypes more strongly in the high (vs. low) system justification salience condition. However, women were less prone to endorse abstract gender stereotypes when system justification was made salient, which may suggest reactance rather than acquiescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-464
Number of pages12
JournalGroup Processes & Intergroup Relations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • SAT score recall
  • gender stereotypes
  • self-concept of capacity
  • stereotype endorsement
  • system justification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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