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Perceptions of Women in Authority Positions: The Role of Warmth and Competence

Chalmers, Jocelyn K. (2021) Perceptions of Women in Authority Positions: The Role of Warmth and Competence. Master of Science by Research (MScRes) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.88012) (KAR id:88012)

Language: English

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Warmth has been shown to disproportionately affect how we perceive women socially, resulting in different standards for men and women in authority roles that emphasize competence. I conducted 5 studies to determine whether warmth-related traits play a more central role in the evaluations of female lecturer and politicians than their male counterparts such that women are disproportionately "punished" in perceivers' eyes for lacking warmth, but not rewarded for possessing it. In Studies 1 and 2 participants assessed the warmth, competence and overall quality of university lecturers and American politicians respectively; in Study 1 a lack of warmth was more integral to how women were evaluated than it was to how men were evaluated, but this was not replicated in Study 2. In Study 3 I analysed the content of Rate My Professor evaluations, which provided some evidence that women receive greater scrutiny than men on warmth-related dimensions. Studies 4 and 5 were content analyses of American political media sources; while these studies did not provide evidence for my hypothesis, they did provide some evidence for an oppositional relationship between warmth and competence for women but not men. Overall, these studies provide mixed support for the idea that women in authority are viewed disproportionately negatively for lacking warmth, and set the basis for future research into the role of warmth in evaluating high-status women.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Science by Research (MScRes))
Thesis advisor: Sutton, Robbie
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.88012
Uncontrolled keywords: women, gender roles, authority, politics, academia, warmth, competence
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 10 May 2021 09:10 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2022 18:50 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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