THE ROLE OF STEREOTYPE ENDORSEMENT IN ATTRIBUTING OUTCOMES TO DISCRIMINATION

Open Access
Author:
Cundiff, Jessica L.
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
June 09, 2009
Committee Members:
  • Theresa K Vescio, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • gender
  • stereotyping
  • Attributions
  • discrimination
Abstract:
Because cultural stereotypes attribute the responsibility for group differences to stereotypic traits of group members, endorsement of those stereotypes may consequently lead to fewer attributions to discrimination. To examine this possibility, participants who either strongly endorsed or rejected gender stereotypes evaluated possible causes of (a) a hiring decision in which a male manager hired an individual man over an individual woman (Study 1) and (b) a group difference showing the underrepresentation of women in male-dominated occupations (Study 2). Results revealed that stereotype endorsement influenced explanations of differences in outcomes between groups but not between individuals. Consistent with hypotheses, stereotype endorsers were more likely than stereotype rejecters to explain the underrepresentation of women in male-dominated fields in terms of dispositional differences between women and men and less likely to attribute such outcomes to discrimination. Stereotype endorsers and rejecters did not, however, differ in their explanations of a hiring decision that favored an individual man over an individual woman. The implications of these findings are discussed.