Carley Andrew

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Gender bias in evaluating creative ideas can partially be explained by role incongruity theory; a perceived mismatch of gender roles and stereotypes with an individual’s sex, leading to gendered outcomes. Idea evaluation is the process of cognitive appraisal, and it is a vital aspect of the creative process. Previous literature links higher perceived levels of creativity to males. The present study utilized a mixed-subjects design of both within (idea gender source) and between-subjects factors (control vs. stereotype threat groups). The sample consisted of 261 undergraduates. The study found that male-generated ideas had fewer pros and cons and no higher evaluations of novelty, usefulness, and creativity than females. The main effect was only found between idea source gender and the numbers of pros and cons, with female sources receiving more of both. The two-way interaction was not found between idea source gender and the experiment’s utilization of a gender stereotype threat. Concluding that despite the failure of the stereotype threat, subtle gender bias still appeared in the more critical evaluation of ideas from female sources. More research on idea evaluation concerning gender in the workplace is needed.

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