This work examines the hypothesis that stereotypes of groups to which low-power people belong should influence the perceptions and behavior of powerful people only when those stereotypes are both contextually relevant (e.g., women in masculine domains) and provide information of relevance given powerful people's beliefs about the relation between subordinates and goal attainment. Findings across two studies supported predictions. In a masculine domain, when high-power men were attentive to subordinate weaknesses that may produce thwarts to goal attainment, stereotypes of women defined the contextually relevant shortcomings of women, and stereotype-consistent high-power behaviors ensued. In contrast, when powerful men were attentive to subordinate strengths that may enhance goal strivings, stereotypes of women were uninformative (i.e., did not contain information about relevant strengths) ; female and male employees were responded to and, in turn, performed and reacted similarly, The implications of these findings for theorizing on the relation between power and stereotyping are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science