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Kevin Lewis

April 11, 2019

Self-presentation in interracial settings: The competence downshift by White liberals
Cydney Dupree & Susan Fiske
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming


Most Whites, particularly sociopolitical liberals, now endorse racial equality. Archival and experimental research reveals a subtle but persistent ironic consequence: White liberals self-present less competence to minorities than to other Whites — that is, they patronize minorities stereotyped as lower status and less competent. In an initial archival demonstration of the competence downshift, Study 1 examined the content of White Republican and Democratic presidential candidates’ campaign speeches. Although Republican candidates did not significantly shift language based on audience racial composition, Democratic candidates used less competence-related language to minority audiences than to White audiences. Across 5 experiments (total N = 2,157), White participants responded to a Black or White hypothetical (Studies 2, 3, 4, S1) or ostensibly real (Study 5) interaction partner. Three indicators of self-presentation converged: competence-signaling of vocabulary selected for an assignment, competence-related traits selected for an introduction, and competence-related content of brief, open-ended introductions. Conservatism indicators included self-reported political affiliation (liberal-conservative), Right-Wing Authoritarianism (values-based conservatism), and Social Dominance Orientation (hierarchy-based conservatism). Internal meta-analyses revealed that liberals — but not conservatives — presented less competence to Black interaction partners than to White ones. The simple effect was small but significant across studies, and most reliable for the self-reported measure of conservatism. This possibly unintentional but ultimately patronizing competence-downshift suggests that well-intentioned liberal Whites may draw on low-status/competence stereotypes to affiliate with minorities.

Calculators for Women: When Identity Appeals Provoke Backlash
Tami Kim et al.
Harvard Working Paper, February 2019


From “Chick Beer” to “Dryer sheets for Men,” identity-based labeling is frequently deployed to appeal to people who hold the targeted identity. However, five studies demonstrate that identity appeals can backfire, alienating the very individuals they aim to attract. We begin by demonstrating backlash against identity appeals in the field during the 2016 presidential election (Study 1) and in the lab (Study 2). This (in)effectiveness of identity appeals is driven by categorization threat — feeling unwillingly reduced to a single identity — which is induced when a) the identity deployed is that of a typically marginalized group (Studies 3-4) and b) the appeal evokes a stereotype about that identity (Study 5). Ironically, identity appeals often drive identity-holders away from options they would have preferred in the absence of that appeal.

Gender Discrimination in Online Markets
Christopher Cotropia, Jonathan Masur & David Schwartz
University of Chicago Working Paper, January 2019


We study whether a seller’s gender impacts the bargained-for price in a product market, specifically baseball cards, as well whether any discrimination that might be present is taste-based or statistically-based. We accomplish this by isolating the seller’s gender using an online transaction on eBay where the buyer is exposed to the seller’s gender by only the seller’s hand and name. We test for differential treatment in two environments: a field experiment, in which we actually sell cards on eBay, and a laboratory experiment, in which we conduct surveys via Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk). We find that there is consistent differential treatment of female sellers across both environments. However, this treatment runs in the opposite direction of the discrimination found in most studies of gender. We find that women sell baseball cards for a higher price and greater profit on eBay compared to men. This finding was replicated in the MTurk study. The MTurk study suggested that the reason for a higher price appears to be at least partially based on statistical discrimination, with respondents believing that female sellers were more likely to handle the card carefully and promptly mail it after purchase and less likely to present problems in completing the transaction. Part of the discrimination may also be taste–based. In the eBay experiment, women obtained higher prices and profits even for cards that had been professionally graded, where the quality of the card should not have been in doubt. And MTurk respondents were also more likely to want to meet the female sellers in person and believed they were attractive.

Gender Stereotyping and Chivalry in International Negotiations: A Survey Experiment in the Council of the European Union
Daniel Naurin, Elin Naurin & Amy Alexander
International Organization, forthcoming


Gender stereotypes — stylized expectations of individuals’ traits and capabilities based on their gender — may affect the behavior of diplomats and the processes of international negotiations. In a survey experiment in the Council of the European Union, we find that female representatives behaving stereotypically weak and vulnerable may trigger a chivalry reaction among male representatives, increasing the likelihood that the men will agree to support a bargaining proposal from the women. The effect is conditional on the negotiators’ cultural background — the chivalry reaction is displayed mainly by diplomats from countries with relatively low levels of gender equality. Our study contributes to the research on nonstandard behavior in international relations, and in particular the expression and reception of emotions in diplomacy. We argue that gender stereotypes may have a moderating impact on decision making based on such intuitive cognitive processes. We also add to the broader negotiation literature, both by showing the pervasiveness of gender stereotyping, and by testing at the elite level the generalizability of claims regarding gender effects derived from laboratory experiments. Overall, our findings demonstrate the importance of bringing gender into the study of international negotiations, where it has been largely and surprisingly ignored.

Stigma-Based Rejection Experiences Affect Trust in Others
Ming Zhang, Manuela Barreto & David Doyle
Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming


Rejection experiences are likely to influence individuals’ subsequent feelings about others and their behavior in social interactions. The present study specifically examined whether stigma-based rejection leads to decreased trust in others, compared to rejections that are not stigma based. Trust was assessed behaviorally with an online task where the interaction partner was preprogrammed. Participants showed less trust after stigma-based rejection than after a nonstigma-based rejection. This research provides the first experimental evidence that stigma-based rejection uniquely influences trust in others.

Fraternity membership, traditional masculinity ideologies, and impersonal sex: Selection and socialization effects
Emily Waterman et al.
Psychology of Men & Masculinities, forthcoming


Fraternity culture perpetuates traditional masculinity ideologies, but little research has considered the process by which men internalize these ideologies. Men may select into fraternities based on preexisting ideologies, or fraternities may have a socializing effect on ideologies. We used two longitudinal data sets to explore selection and socialization effects of fraternity membership on masculinity ideologies (gendered beliefs, gendered traits, and sexual double standard beliefs) and impersonal sex (sexual motives and multiple sex partners) among ethnically and racially diverse college men. Using Data set 1 (n = 166, M = 18.0 years old fall of first year), we explored the selection and socialization effects of fraternity membership on male role norms, masculine traits, and endorsement of the sexual double standard. Men who more strongly endorsed male role norms about status and the sexual double standard were more likely to join fraternities than other men, indicating selection effects. Using Data set 2 (n = 256, M = 18.5 years old fall of first year), we explored selection and socialization effects of fraternity membership on sex motives and multiple sex partners. We did not find much evidence for selection or socialization effects on sex motives and multiple sex partners. Our findings may inform intervention efforts for men before and during college.

Sexual Selection, Agonistic Signaling, and the Effect of Beards on Recognition of Men’s Anger Displays
Belinda Craig, Nicole Nelson & Barnaby Dixson
Psychological Science, forthcoming


The beard is arguably one of the most obvious signals of masculinity in humans. Almost 150 years ago, Darwin suggested that beards evolved to communicate formidability to other males, but no studies have investigated whether beards enhance recognition of threatening expressions, such as anger. We found that the presence of a beard increased the speed and accuracy with which participants recognized displays of anger but not happiness (Experiment 1, N = 219). This effect was not due to negative evaluations shared by beardedness and anger or to negative stereotypes associated with beardedness, as beards did not facilitate recognition of another negative expression, sadness (Experiment 2, N = 90), and beards increased the rated prosociality of happy faces in addition to the rated masculinity and aggressiveness of angry faces (Experiment 3, N = 445). A computer-based emotion classifier reproduced the influence of beards on emotion recognition (Experiment 4). The results suggest that beards may alter perceived facial structure, facilitating rapid judgments of anger in ways that conform to evolutionary theory.

Weight, Reference Points, and the Onset of Eating Disorders
Tiziano Arduini, Daniela Iorio & Eleonora Patacchini
Journal of Health Economics, forthcoming


We investigate whether the development of eating disorders, in the form of purging, is influenced by peers’ body size through interpersonal comparisons. Using detailed information on recent cohorts of U.S. teenagers, we document a sizeable and significant negative effect of high school peers’ body mass index (BMI) on purging behavior during the adolescence for females, but not for males. Interpersonal comparisons operate through the formation of a distorted self-perception: teenage girls with relatively thin female peers perceive themselves as heavier than they actually are. The girls who are more susceptible to peer influences are those having peers who are thinner, more popular, more (verbally) able, and with more educated parents.

Paying a Price for Domestic Equality: Risk Factors for Backlash Against Nontraditional Husbands
Kimberly Chaney et al.
Gender Issues, March 2019, Pages 3–22


For the sake of gender equality, it is vital to determine why husbands who relieve their wives’ domestic burden are stigmatized as “unmanly” (Brescoll and Uhlmann in Psychol Women Q 29(4):436–445, 2005; Rudman and Mescher in J Soc Issues 69(2):322–340, 2013). We used biographical vignettes to examine whether masculinity penalties stem from not earning income (a male prescription) or performing domestic labor (“acting like women”). In Experiment 1, we held husbands’ domestic labor constant but manipulated how much income they earned from home; in Experiment 2, we held husbands’ earnings constant but varied their domestic labor. In Experiment 1, only low-income husbands were stigmatized (e.g., viewed as weaker than comparable wives); successful husbands working from home were spared penalties. In Experiment 2, husbands who performed 50 or 30% of the domestic labor were viewed similarly and more favorably than husbands who did 70%. Thus, across two experiments, men can relieve women’s domestic burden without penalty provided they also earn some income and do not shoulder domestic inequality themselves. These findings are optimistic for domestic and gender equality.

Of Nice and Mean: The Personal Relevance of Others’ Competence Drives Perceptions of Warmth
Antonin Carrier, Benoît Dompnier & Vincent Yzerbyt
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming


Past research shows that when forming an impression of an interdependent person, perceivers are motivated to look for information relevant to their goals and interests. The present experiments examined what happens after this information-seeking stage and showed that the relevance of the target’s attributes for one’s goals and interests drives warmth impressions. Using both a scenario (Experiment 1) and realistic methodologies (Experiment 3), we showed that when the perceiver had to collaborate with a target, the more competent the target, the more perceivers anticipated success and the more the target came across as warm. By contrast, in a competition setting, the competence of the target negatively affected prospects of success and impressions of warmth. Experiment 2 further showed that the target’s competence drove warmth impressions only when perceivers attached a great value to the success of the task, suggesting that these inferences have a motivational underpinning.

Are Black Women and Girls Associated With Danger? Implicit Racial Bias at the Intersection of Target Age and Gender
Kelsey Thiem et al.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming


We investigated whether stereotypes linking Black men and Black boys with violence and criminality generalize to Black women and Black girls. In Experiments 1 and 2, non-Black participants completed sequential-priming tasks wherein they saw faces varying in race, age, and gender before categorizing danger-related objects or words. Experiment 3 compared task performance across non-Black and Black participants. Results revealed that (a) implicit stereotyping of Blacks as more dangerous than Whites emerged across target age, target gender, and perceiver race, with (b) a similar magnitude of racial bias across adult and child targets and (c) a smaller magnitude for female than male targets. Evidence for age bias and gender bias also emerged whereby (d) across race, adult targets were more strongly associated with danger than were child targets, and (e) within Black (but not White) targets, male targets were more strongly associated with danger than were female targets.

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