Expressing Pride: Effects on Perceived Agency, Communality, and Stereotype-Based Gender Disparities

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Abstract

Two experimental studies were conducted to investigate how the expression of pride shapes agency-related and communality-related judgments, and how those judgments differ when the pride expresser is a man or a woman. Results indicated that the expression of pride (as compared to the expression of happiness) had positive effects on perceptions of agency and inferences about task-oriented leadership competence, and negative effects on perceptions of communality and inferences about people-oriented leadership competence. Pride expression also elevated ascriptions of interpersonal hostility. For agency-related judgments and ascriptions of interpersonal hostility, these effects were consistently stronger when the pride expresser was a woman than a man. Moreover, the expression of pride was found to affect disparities in judgments about men and women, eliminating the stereotype-consistent differences that were evident when happiness was expressed. With a display of pride women were not seen as any more deficient in agency-related attributes and competencies, nor were they seen as any more exceptional in communality-related attributes and competencies, than were men.

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