No credit where credit is due: Attributional rationalization of women's success in male-female teams

Madeline E. Heilman, Michelle C. Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In 3 experimental studies, the authors explored how ambiguity about the source of a successful joint performance outcome promotes attributional rationalization, negatively affecting evaluations of women. Participants read descriptions of a mixed-sex dyad's work and were asked to evaluate its male and female members. Results indicated that unless the ambiguity about individual contribution to the dyad's successful joint outcome was constrained by providing feedback about individual team member performance (Study 1) or by the way in which the task was said to have been structured (Study 2) or unless the negative expectations about women's performance were challenged by clear evidence of prior work competence (Study 3), female members were devalued as compared with their male counterparts - they were rated as being less competent, less influential, and less likely to have played a leadership role in work on the task. Implications of these results, both theoretical and practical, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)905-916
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume90
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2005

Keywords

  • Gender bias
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Sex discrimination
  • Sex stereotypes
  • Teams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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