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! "##$#%&'()*+& WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE & $ & WOMEN AND WORK: THE EFFECTS OF ATTRACTIVENESS AND AMBIGUITY ON EMPLOYEE EVALUATIONS OF COMPETENCE & BY NICOLE HOKAYEM A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. Catherine Cottrell Sarasota, Florida April, 2013
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE $$ & Dedication To basset hounds and my alleged ulcer.
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE $$$ & Acknowledgments I would like to thank my parents, Nada and Raymond Hokayem, and my siblings, Carole and Charlie, for their unwavering and boundless encouragement, and for always keeping me well fed and feeling loved during my visits home. I would also like to ex press my gratitude to my sponsor /mentor/friend Dr. Catherine Cottrell, whose encouragement, expertise, and direction add ed considerably to my thesising experience. She taught me to pick my poison an d encouraged me to sleep when my stress ed out bun made it to the to p of my head. I doubt that I will ever be able to convey my appreciation fully. I could not have complete d this thesis without Dr. Michelle Barton and Dr. Steven Graham, u nder their tutelage I learned how and why to think. Also, thank you Dr. French Press for allowing me to do so in those early mornings. I'd also like to thank m y friends. You know who you are. Love you guys.
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE $, & Table of Contents DEDICATION................................................................................................................... ..ii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS............................................................... .............................. .. ..iii TABLE OF CONTENTS................................................................ .......................... .. .... ....iv ABSTRACT.............................................................................. ............................... ...... ..vii GENDER STEREOTYPIC ATTRIBUTES.................................... ............................. .. ....1 GENDER STEREOTYPES AND DESCRIPTION BASED EVALUATION BIAS..... ...5 PRESCRIPTION BASED EVALUATION BIAS............................... .................... .......11 GENDER STE REOTYPES AND FACIAL ATTRACTIVENESS....... ................... .......15 ATTRACTIVENESS AND CORPORATE SUCCESS......................... .................... .... ..18 AMBIGUITY AND RATIONALIZATION ATTRIBUTION.............. ...................... ... ..25 CURRENT STU DY............................................................................... ...................... .....28 METHOD.............................................................................................. ............................31 Participants and Design.............................................................. ....................... ....31 Procedure................................................................................... .......................... ..31 Experimental Manipulations .................................................... ....................... .... ..34 Dependent Measures...................................................................... ................ .... ...35 Manipulation Checks..................................... ....................... ... ..................... .... ....37 RESULTS .................. .... ........................................................ ................................ .. ......... 37 Manipulation Checks.................................................................................. ... ..... .37 Dependent Measures ................................................... ............................... ....... .... 38 Secondary Analyses..................... ............................................... ........... ... ............ 40 DISCUSSION...................................................................................... ................ ............. 42
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE & Implications........................................ ................................... .. .... ................. ...... ..44 Limitations............................................................................... ........ ....... ............. 46 Future Directions.............................................. ............................... ..... .............. 47 REFERENCES.................................................................................... ..... ........ ................ 51 TABLES ..................................................................... .......................... .. ......... ......... ........57 Table 1....................................................................................... ......... .. ........ ....... 57 Table 2................................................................ ............................... .... ....... .. ...... 58 Table 3........................................................................................... ... ............ .. ..... 59 Table 4.............................................................. ........ ....................... ............. .... ....60 Table 5........................................................................................ .... ................... ...61 Table 6............................................................ ................ ............... .......... ........... ..62 APPENDICES........................................................... ............................... ...... .. ............... .63 Appendix A................................................... .......................... ..... ....................... .. 63 Appendix B.................................................. ............................... ..................... ...... 65 Appendix C................................................. ............................... ........... .......... .... ..66 Appendix D................................................ ............................... ....................... ... ..67 Appendix E............................................................................ .. ......................... .. .68 Appendix F.............................................. ............................... .. ......................... ... 70
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE ,$ & WOMEN AND WORK: THE EFFECTS OF ATTRACTIVENESS AND AMBIGUITY ON EMPLOYEE EVALUATIONS OF COMPETENCE Nicole Hokayem New College of Florida, 2013 ABSTRACT An experiment was conducted to investigate whether ambiguity in performance evaluations and facial attractiveness promote stereotype based expectations, detrimentally affecting evaluations of women who are successful members of a team working in a traditionally male arena. Participants (32 male, 61 female, 14 unknown) were randomly assigned to one of six conditions varying in female facial attractiveness (low, moderate, high) and performance information provided (ambig uous, non ambiguous). Participants then read descriptions of a mixed sex dyad s work and were asked to evaluate its female and male members. Results indicated that unless the ambiguity about individual contribution to the dyad's successful joint outcome wa s constrained by providing feedback about individual team member performance, more attractive female members were perceived to be more feminine and less competent than their less attractive counterparts. Additionally, more attractive female members were ra ted as more likeable regardless of performance information provided. _______________________ Catherine Cottrell Division of Social Science
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE & Women and Work: Effects of Attractiveness and Ambiguity on Employee Evaluations of Competence Women are underrepresented in roles traditionally considered to be masculine. Unfortunately, these positions are often the highest in authority, responsibility, and prestige for many organizations. Researchers frequently designate gender stereotypes as the culprit f or these disparities (Burgess, Joseph, Ryn & Carnes, 2012; Heilman & Haynes, 2005). This thesis examines additional ways in which gender stereotypes may give rise to deleterious consequences for women aspiring to traditionally male work roles. Specifically, this research delves into the conditions in which women are given less credit for the success they achieve when they work jointly on tasks with men, as a function of facial attractiveness and ambiguity in evaluations. This question is especially topical due to the surge in the use of work teams in virtually every industr y. Understanding gender biases associated with attractiveness and ambiguity may aid in overcoming their negative effects. This thesis examines past research on the content of gender stereotypes before delves into information about gender bias in the wor kplace. Gender Stereotypic Attributes A society's gender roles are the shared beliefs that are applied to individuals on the basis of their socially identified gender (Eagly, 1987). Stereotyped beliefs about the attributes of men and women are pervasive a nd widely shared. Moreover, these stereotyped beliefs have proved very resistant to change. Leuptow, Garovich, and Leuptow (1995) compared gender stereotypes and self ratings across a 17 year period, from 1974 to 1991. Participants, composed of 3,646 stude nts from a large, urban,
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE & Midwestern university, completed an anonymous questionnaire in their classrooms. Stereotype scores were based upon the ratings of 21 adjectives, selected as reflecting masculine or feminine characteristics. Students were asked the degree to which each trait was representative of a target on a scale of one ( low ) to seven ( high ). The same list was applied to a typical male, a typical female, and self. The results revealed little evidence of reduction in the sex typing of the typ ical person as when perceived by these respondents. The students perceived that women and men differ as much as they did in 1974, and even observed some increase in sex typing and gender differentiation as change in sex roles and attitudes had been occurri ng. Gender role beliefs are both descriptive and prescriptive in that they denote the discrepancy between what men and women usually do and what they should ideally do. The descriptive aspect of gender roles, or stereotypes, informs people what is typical for their gender. If a situation is ambiguous or confusing, people tend to enact sex typical behaviors. The prescriptive aspect of gender roles denotes norms about behaviors that are suitable for each sex in their cultural context -how women and men "sho uld" be. People may impose these desirable behaviors to gain social approval or bolster their own self esteem. To varying extents, gender role beliefs are embedded both in others' expectations thereby acting as social norms, and in individuals' internalize d gender identities, thus acting as personal dispositions (Eagly & Wood, 2009). These culturally shared beliefs imply different prosocial behaviors for women and men in terms often labeled as "agentic" and "communal." Bakan (1966) introduced the concepts of agency and communion to denote the primary psychological orientations of human beings. The terms agency and communion serve as the two fundamental
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE / & modalities in the existence of living forms: agency reflects the existence of an organism as an individual and communion reflects the participation of the individual in some larger organism of which the individual is part. In Bakan's model, agency arises from strivings to individuate and expand the self and involves such qualities as instrumentality, ambition dominance, competence, and efficiency in goal attainment. Communion rises from strivings to integrate the self in a larger social unit through caring for others and involves qualities such as focus on others and their well being, cooperativeness, and emo tional expressivity. The fundamental traits of agency and communion underlie many aspects of social behavior, motives, and goals. These constructs are considered to reflect stereotypical, socially desirable male and female gender role characteristics, agen cy being related to the male stereotype and communion being related to the female stereotype (Eagly, 2009; Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp, 1974). More achievement oriented, agentic traits are primarily used to describe men as having an assertive, controlling, and confident tendency for example, aggressive, ambitious, dominant, forceful, independent, self sufficient, self confident, and prone to act as a leader. In contrast, more social ly oriented, communal traits, describe primarily women as being concerned wi th the welfare of other people for example: affectionate, helpful, kind, sympathetic, interpersonally sensitive, nurturing, and gentle (Eagly, 1987). Additionally, there is a great deal of overlap between the content of the prescriptive and descriptive el ements of gender stereotypes, with the behavior that is prescribed directly related to the attributes that are positively valued for each sex. Thus, the communal traits for which women are so positively valued are a central part of their
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 0 & "shoulds." But gen der stereotype based norms also include "should nots." Conceptions of women and men are not only different, but also oppositional. Thus, "should nots" often include behaviors associated with the opposite sex that are seen as incompatible with the behavior deemed desirable for one's own. Consequently, in many cases the agentic tendencies for which men are so positively valued are prohibited for women. This, too, is a part of their normative prescription (Eagly, Mladinic, & Otto, 1991). These traditional ste reotypes of women and men predominate in work setting s as well as non work settings. For example, in Heilman, Block, and Martell's study (1995), 224 male managers from a range of industries completed an attribute inventory describing either men or women in general, men or women managers, or men or women successful managers. Even when women were depicted as managers, they were characterized as less agentic than men. Although women were described more favorably on male stereotyped attributes (e.g., more compe tent, active and potent) when depicted as managers, they were characterized more negatively than male managers. Only when designated as successful managers did the gender discrepancy in trait attributions abate. Thus, the increased presence of women in the workplace and their assumption of new roles do not appear to preclude gender stereotypic perceptions. The following section discusses the ways in which the descriptive and prescriptive aspects of gender stereotypes can produce consequences that thwart th e aspirations of women to reach the upper echelons of organizations.
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 1 & Gender Stereotypes and Description Based Evaluation Bias Researchers have identified gender stereotypes as a primary factor that contributes to the scarcity of women in the top lev els of organizations (Heilman, 2001). Both descriptive and prescriptive components of gender stereotypes play a role in this workplace discrimination and selection bias. The recognition of the "male" sex type of top management and executive level jobs is c rucial to comprehending the restrictions that the female gender stereotype poses on women. These top level jobs are thought to require an achievement oriented aggressiveness and an emotional toughness that is distinctly male in character and antithetical t o both the stereotyped view of what women are like and the stereotype based norms specifying how they should behave. This view is at the heart of gender bias in evaluations. Jobs become gender typed by virtue of both the number of men and women who occu py them and the attributes deemed necessary for successful performance. For example, more women than men are nurses, and more men than women are engineers (Lips, 2003). Not only is one sex more highly represented, but successful performance is viewed as re quiring gendered skills, traits and attributes. So, while a successful manager is described as having stereotypically masculine, or agentic, traits (Heilman et al., 1995), a successful nurse may be expected to exhibit more stereotypically feminine, or comm unal, traits (Glick, Wilk, & Perrault, 1995). Undoubtedly, the degree to which a particular job is defined as male in sex type is contingent on factors such as the work sector or domain, work product, or specific functional area of management. However, wi th few exceptions, empirical evidence
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 2 & supports the assertion that upper level managerial positions appear to be characterized in masculine terms; that is, they are filled predominantly by men and are believed to require uniquely masculine skills for succes s. Although there has been an increase of women in leadership roles as managers, legislators, and officials (United Nations Development Programme, 2008), these women are concentrated at lower managerial levels. In examining the association between sex role stereotypes and the perceived requisite personal characteristics for management positions, Schein (1973) randomly distributed three forms of the 92 item Descriptive Index to 300 male managers. This Descriptive Index contains 92 adjectives and descriptive terms some positive in connotation, others negative, and some neither. All forms were identical, except that one asked for a description of women in general, one for men in general, and one for successful mana gers. Successful managers were perceived to possess characteristics, attitudes, and temperaments more commonly ascribed to men in general, than to women. This association holds many implications for the limited number of women in management positions. The perceived similarity between the characteristics of successful managers and men increases the potential for a male, rather than a female, to be selected and promoted to managerial positions. In a subsequent study, Schein (1975) administered the three forms of the 92 item Descriptive Index to 167 female managers. The results were replicated, as female managers also attributed characteristics, attitudes, and temperaments more commonly ascribed t o men in general, to successful managers. These results imply that female managers are just as likely as male managers to make selection, promotion, and placement decisions in favor of men. In addition, Heilman, Block, Martell, and Simon
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 3 & (1989) also found that characterizations of successful managers were more similar to descriptions of men than of women, even when they had been depicted as middle managers. Powell, Butterfield, and Parent (2002) demonstrated that masculine assumptions in regards to manager s persisted throughout a 20 year period. Participants in the 1976 1977 sample completed the Original Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) for themselves and for a good manager. Participants in the 1999 and 1984 1985 samples completed the Short BSRI for themselves and for a good manager. Despite the considerable increase in the proportion of women managers over this period of time and the emphasis on feminine characteristics in management, men and women of varying age, education, and work experience still described a good manager as possessing predominantly masculine characteristics. Stereotypically male qualities are also thought necessary to being a successful executive. Martell, Parker, Emrich, and Crawford (1988) assigned 132 male managers to rate one of four target groups: middle managers (male, female), or successful middle managers (male, female). Sex differences were found and always favored men. When depicted as successful managers, women were rated less favorably than men on all but the Results Oriented' factor: women were seen as less inspirational, decisive, and energetic (Change Agent); less courageous, resilient, and resourceful (Managerial Courage); and less of a leader, visionary, strategic thinker (Leadership). Thus, it seems that not only are most upper level managers men, but good management is also thought to be a manly business. These findings shed light on the "lack of fit" explanation for why there are so few women executives.
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 4 & The "lack of fit" explanation (Heilman, 1983) posits that expectat ions about how successful or unsuccessful a person will be in working at a particular job compel underlying personnel decisions. Further, the perceived fit between the individual's attributes and the job's requirements, in terms of skills and abilities, mo lds these performance expectations. Thus, if the perceived fit is good, success will be expected; if the perceived fit is poor, then failure is expected. These fit derived performance expectations, whether positive or negative, have a crucial influence on evaluation processes. Previous research clearly demonstrates that the skills and attributes presumed to be necessary to manage male gender typed roles do not correspond to the attributes presumed to characterize women as a group (Martell, Parker, Emrich, & Crawford, 1988; Powell, Butterfield, & Parent, 2002; Schein, 1973; Schein, 1975). The perceived lack of fit between the demands of traditionally male jobs and the stereotypic attributes assigned to women is apt to yield expectations of failure. Furthermo re, the more substantial the degree of stereotyping or the more masculine in gender type the job, the worse the perceived fit, and the more negative expectations are likely to be. These expectations of failure induce a bias with regard to viewing women as unfit to perform the job competently (Heilman, 2001). There is evidence to support the lack of fit model as it relates to performance evaluations. A meta analysis of laboratory studies indicated that there was greater gender bias against women in performa nce ratings on masculine tasks than on feminine tasks (Swim, Borgida, Maruyama, & Myers, 1989). Another meta analysis that focused on evaluations of leaders and managers indicated that the women in leadership positions
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 5 & were devalued relative to their male counterparts when leadership was carried out in stereotypically masculine styles. In addition, the devaluation of female leaders was greater for roles occupied mainly by men, than for roles occupied more equally by both sexes (Eagly, Makhijani, & Klonsky, 1992). These negative performance expectations have repercussions on women seeking entry into organizations. Research has repeatedly demonstrated sex bias in employee selection processes (Olian, Schwab, & Haberfeld, 1988). Male applicants are predominantly recommended for hire and regarded as more likely to succeed than their female counterparts with equivalent credentials, when jobs are male in gender type (Davison & Burke, 2000; Dipboye, 1987). Heilman, Martell, and Simon (1988) conducted a study in which 241 students reviewed the work sample of either a male or female applicant for a job that was either extremely male or moderately male in gender type. The applicant was depicted as high in performance ability or no information about their performance abil ity was provided. Unless information of high performance ability was provided, women's competence and likely career success were undervalued relative to men's. These performance expectations become the lens through which information is filtered, including which behavior is attended to, how that behavior is interpreted, and whether it is remembered when critical decisions are made. It is easier to reject disconfirming information rather than restructure beliefs. Often, these performance expectations create self fulfilling prophecies, in which evaluators distort their experiences in order to see what they want or expect to see (Heilman, 2001). This tendency towards self perpetuation creates problematic consequences for women far beyond selection decisions. Re search has shown that despite
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE -6 & producing the identical work product as a man, a woman's work and competence is often regarded as inferior. Heilman, Wallen, Fuchs, and Tamkins (2004) examined the reactions to women and men working in a male gender typed job when their performance on that job was clearly successful, rather than ambiguous, with regard to performance outcome. Forty eight students were given a stimulus packet including a job description, a background information sheet, and the current status info rmation for two stimulus people, always one male and one female. After reviewing the information, participants completed a research questionnaire in which they rated the target on measures of competence. Women were viewed as less competent and characterize d as less achievement oriented than men, only when there was ambiguity about how successful they had been. There have been numerous investigations that substantiate the fact that unless the quality of the work product is indisputable, women's accomplishmen ts are diminished as compared to those of men (see Heilman, 1983, 1995; and Nieva & Gutek, 1980). Moreover, the more women are viewed in stereotypic terms, the more likely this is to take place (Heilman & Stopeck, 1985a). Also conducive to the devaluation of women's performance is the propensity to interpret the same behavior differently depending on the actor. Gender is a social category that is used as a means of organizing incoming person information, and when actors are of different genders, the implica tions drawn from their behavior are quite different (Taylor, Fiske, Etcoff, & Ruderman, 1978). For example, in work settings a behavior such as frequent phone conversation is much more apt to be perceived as slacking off for a woman, but productive for a m an (Heilman, 2001). Thus, there are a multitude of ways in which the descriptive aspect of the female gender stereotype, and the negative expectations to which it gives rise, prevent a
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE -& woman's accomplishment from being evaluated in an impartial manner. Ex pectations can profoundly impact cognitive processes that are critical in performance appraisal. They seem to have their own defense system, tenaciously protecting themselves against disconfirming evidence, and inclining the expectation holder to think and act in a manner that "proves" them true. Unless the quality of performance is made explicit and clear, individuals are likely to ignore or dismiss the information that performance provides about women and preserve the expectation that they are not compete nt enough to accomplish a male gender typed job or task. Prescription Based Evaluation Bias Regardless of the inclination to devalue women's achievements, sometimes said work achievements are explicitly successful, impeding the potential for the responsib ility to be attributed elsewhere. Only in this situation are women acknowledged as competent. There is even evidence that in such rigid conditions, women are actually perceived as more competent than men. Feldman (1981) has indicated that when behavior hea vily conflicts with a stereotypically derived expectation, the breach of the stereotype can give rise to a boomerang effect. Much research has demonstrated this overvaluation of women when performance excellence on a male gender typed task is both clear an d undeniably due to the woman's skill (Heilman, Martell & Simon, 1988; Kryger & Shikiar, 1978). However, even the acknowledgement of competence does not safeguard against discrimination in the workplace. The violation of the prescriptions inherent in gende r stereotypes is likely to bias how women are evaluated and their career progression. Gender stereotypes mandate that women should behave differently than men: women should be nurturing and service oriented (communal), but not tough and
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE -. & achievement oriente d (agentic). When a woman is recognized as having been successful at performing male gender typed work, she is regarded as having the attributes necessary to carry out the required responsibilities. However, these attributes violate gender prescriptive nor ms. So, although there is a good fit between what the woman is perceived to be like and what the job is thought to entail, there is a poor fit between what the woman is perceived to be like and the conception of what she should be like (Heilman et al., 200 4). Whereas the descriptive component of gender stereotypes induces discrimination against women who are perceived as lacking the necessary attributes to succeed in male dominated occupations, the prescriptive component, like other counter normative behavi or, is expected to arouse disapproval and subsequent penalties against women who violate beliefs about how women should behave (Cialdini & Trost, 1998). These penalties predominantly manifest as disparate treatment, either through hostile environment hara ssment or through the devaluation of performance. For example, female managers perceived to be expressing a masculine (autocratic), rather than a feminine (participative) leadership style, were evaluated less favorably on measures of enthusiasm and satisfa ction by peers in training groups, than were male managers (Jago & Vroom, 1982). Even displaying self promotion, which is necessary for perceptions of competence, decreased the social skill ratings of female applicants and their likelihood of being hired ( Rudman, 1998). Merely exhibiting behavioral tendencies that break normative prescriptions provoke disapproval. Thus, other subjectively deviant behaviors that prove to be effective are apt to arouse more severe and frequent negative consequences.
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE -/ & The same competence commended in men is considered unattractive in women (Horner, 1972). In addition, the competent woman, as compared to their male counterpart, is regarded as "cold" (Porter & Geis, 1981). These findings illuminate how women can be penalized for t heir competence, and be personally derogated by the everyday use of terms for successful women, such as "bitch" and "ice queen." Much research has examined how this derogation towards successful women extends to organizational life. For example, a large an d heterogeneous group of male managers was asked to describe a successful manager who was said to be a male, female, or of an unknown gender. Ratings of the successful managers were made on a lengthy list of adjectives, initially used by Schein (1973). Alt hough female managers were depicted as successful and endowed with agentic qualities, they were also perceived as interpersonally wanting. Such descriptors as "bitter," "quarrelsome," and "selfish" were ascribed to successful female managers, though not to male managers (Heilman et al., 1989). Heilman, Block, and Martell (1995) further demonstrated this interpersonal derogation against successful women, in which male managers were asked to describe either men or women in general, men or women managers, or s uccessful men or women managers. When depicted as successful managers, discrepant characterizations with stereotypically male attributes generally abated. However, successful female managers were found to be characterized more negatively in interpersonal a ttributes than their male counterparts. Specifically, although there were no differences on measures of competence, potency, stability, and independence, successful female managers were perceived as more devious, vulgar, quarrelsome, selfish, bitter and de ceitful than successful male managers. However, these differences were not apparent when there was no indication of success.
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE -0 & In addition to personal derogation, there is evidence that when a female is considered to be competent at male gender typed work, s he is disliked more than her male counterparts. In the first of three studies (Heilman, Wallen, Fuchs, & Tamkins, 2004), 48 participants were given packets containing a male gender typed job description and background information sheet, which participants rated on measures of competence and liking. Each participant was exposed to both a male and female target, and randomly assigned to an unclear performance outcome condition or clear success condition. The results of the study demonstrate that women were vi ewed as less competent and characterized as less achievement oriented than men, only when there was ambiguity regarding success. However, when success was explicit and the woman was designated as a top performer, the woman was perceived to be as competent as her male counterpart, but was rated as far less likeable. A second study demonstrated that success itself was not the precipitant for these penalties, only success that was a violation of gender prescriptions. Specifically, the successful woman was only derogated in terms of likeability when the job was masculine, rather than neutral or feminine in gender type. A third study explored the effect of being disliked on evaluations, recommendations, and treatment in the workplace. Likeability ratings served a s the independent variable and were systematically varied. The results reveal that likeability had detrimental effects in work settings, with less likeable individuals being rated less favorably on the four dependent measures: overall evaluation, feelings about having as a manager, special opportunity recommendation, and salary recommendation. Thus being disliked is not only unpleasant, but also a hindrance for upwardly aspiring women.
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE -1 & Gender Stereotypes and Facial Attractiveness What enhances gender ster eotypic attributes? Facial attractiveness has been found to exaggerate perceptions of gender related attributes (Gillen & Sherman, 1980; Heilman & Saruwatari, 1979; Heilman & Stopeck, 1985), which provides a conceptual tool for understanding the consequenc es of appearance in work settings. It also is suggestive of how and when attractiveness can be a liability, rather than an asset, for working women. Physical information conveys visible information that is used in forming first impressions. Two studies in vestigated the implicational structure of traits used to describe the male and female stereotype, and the influence of a target person's gender and physical attractiveness on the attributions of traits with specific qualities, respectively. In their first study, Gillen and Sherman (1980) employed 60 participants who indicated the probability that a stereotypic female and male possess 59 traits on a nine point Likert scale. A separate group of 35 participants rated each of the 59 traits on a set of 12 nine p oint bipolar scales: Good Bad, Socially good Socially bad, Intellectually good Intellectually bad, Hard Soft, Active Passive, Masculine Feminine, Conform Does not conform, Dominant Submissive, Good for a male Bad for a male, Good for a female Bad for a fe male, Masculine for a male Feminine for a male, and Feminine for a female Masculine for a female. The attribution of traits to the stereotypic male were independent of their attribution to the stereotypic female, and such attributions were made on the basi s of both evaluative and non evaluative implicational properties of the traits. A second study employed three traits to represent each of the eight types: non evaluative feminine, positive only, negative only, positive masculine, positive feminine, negativ e masculine,
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE -2 & and negative feminine. Participants were presented with 12 pictures, two from each of the levels of attractiveness (low, moderate, and high) and sex (male or female). They were instructed to indicate the probability of the target person posses sing each of the 24 traits on a nine point scale. The results revealed that, as predicted, the attributions of evaluative traits (both Good and Bad) were affected by target attractiveness and not by target sex. Targets were significantly less likely to be attributed Bad traits at each successively higher attractiveness level. For non evaluative traits, characterized by their gender implications, the results confirmed the notion that the attribution of these traits is dependent upon both the attractiveness and sex of the target person: more attractive women were regarded as more feminine than unattractive women and attractive men were regarded as more masculine than unattractive men. Heilman and Saruwatari (1979), in examining the effects of both appearance and sex on the evaluations of applicants also found a tendency for attractiveness to work against female applicants. However, attractiveness consistently provided an advantage for male applicants. This finding rested on the notion that attractiveness exag gerates the perception of masculinity and femininity. This prediction was directly tested, and was supported by the interaction between applicant sex and appearance, with attractive men and unattractive women being perceived as more masculine than their sa me sex counterparts. Additionally, Heilman and Stopeck (1985) examined the influence of attractiveness on post hiring biases. Their findings also revealed that whereas males' ability attributions were enhanced by their good looks, females' ability attribut ions were detrimentally affected by their good looks. Further, attractive males were thought to be
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE -3 & more masculine than their unattractive counterparts, and attractive females were thought to be more feminine than their unattractive counterparts. Beauty ca nnot be explained by a single principle; there is no gold standard for facial attractiveness. However, three candidates have been proposed for sexual selected preferences: averageness, bilateral symmetry, and sexual dimorphism. As consistent, reliable indi cators of physical attractiveness in meta analyses, these traits have been proposed to signal mate quality so that preferences for them may be adaptations for finding good mates. It is also possible that these preferences are by products of the way brains process information, with no link to mate quality (Rhodes, 2006). Like fitness related evolutionary theories, socialization and social expectancy theories predict that attractiveness should and does have a significant impact on the judgment and treatment o f others by perceivers and on the behaviors and traits of target, though they are based on the assumption that these preferences are a product of learning and culture (Langlois et al., 2000). Though a small number of researchers in this area have pointed to the importance of inter individual differences between the judges of attractiveness (Hnekopp, 2006; Lucker, Beane, & Guire, 1981), the majority of scholars have stressed that consensus among raters is high (Rhodes, 2006). Many contextual factors may in fluence a person's attractiveness, such as pleasant expression, good grooming, youthfulness, and how well an individual is known by a rater. Additionally, there are many different types of attractiveness with different affective or motivational consequence s, including sexual attractiveness, attractiveness as a potential ally or friend, and cuteness or babyfacedness
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE -4 & (Etcoff, 1999), though most psychology studies deal solely with facial attractiveness (Rhodes, 2006). Despite contextual characteristics, there are many roles in which physical attractiveness is generally considered a desired or important criterion for selection. For example, when individuals give reports of sexual attractiveness of members of the opposite sex, responses are typically highly corr elated with overall ratings of desirability to date or marry (Rhodes, 2006). When it comes to judging sexual attractiveness, men and women are typically in high agreement about the level of attractiveness of same sex and opposite sex individuals. Apparentl y, despite not being sexually attracted to individuals of the same sex, heterosexual men and women can still determine how se xually attractive an individual is to members of the opposite sex with high reliability (Langlois et al., 2000). This agreement may function to assess the danger of same sex competitors, as rivals for mates, or may reflect a generic aesthetic or affective response made to all faces (Rhodes, 2006). Agreement about which faces are attractive also occurs between people from different cul tures (Langlois et al. 2000). Whether universal, phenomenologically different, or somewhere in between, attractiveness holds many implications on the treatment of women in the workplace. Attractiveness and Corporate Success The ubiquitous influence and accessibility of physical appearance governs individuals' social experiences. This influence even dictates perceptions of socially desirable traits. Dion, Berscheid, and Walster (1972) investigated the existence and content of a physical attractiveness stereotype. Sixty participants reviewed three
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE -5 & photographs of stimuli varying in attractiveness (attractive, average, and unattractive). After reviewing the stimuli, participants recorded their judgments of the different stimuli al ong several dimensions. The central hypothesis was that participants would attribute more socially desirable traits to attractive individuals than to average, or unattractive, individuals; this was supported. Attractive people were rated as more likely to secure more prestigious jobs, experience happier marriages, be better parents, and enjoy more fulfilling social and occupational lives. These results support the validity of a "what is beautiful is good" hypothesis, in which attractive individuals are thou ght to possess more desirable attributes and expected to be more successful. The influence of this attractiveness stereotype is found to trickle into hiring decisions. Dipboye, Fromkin, and Wiback (1975) examined the basis on which interviewers discrimina ted among job candidate rsums in the screening evaluation phase of the selection. Participants read an ambiguous job description and rated 12 randomly ordered rsums varying on three dimensions: applicant's sex (male or female), attractiveness (attracti ve and unattractive), and scholastic record (high, average, and low). They rated the applicants on their recommendation to hire, on a 9 point Likert scale, and ranked them from most (1) to least (12) satisfactory. Both student and professional interviewers discriminated among applicants on the basis of scholastic standing, sex, and attractiveness. That is, they evaluated rsums more favorably for attractive managerial applicants than for unattractive applicants. Students even generally rated the applicants more favorably than the professional interviewers. This preference for attractive candidates over unattractive applicants still persists regardless of interviewer sex and attractiveness. Dipboye, Arvey, and Terpstra (1977)
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE .6 & conducted a study in which part icipants evaluated 12 applicants on their rsums. The five independent variables were rater and applicant sex (male and female), rater and applicant attractiveness (high, moderate, and low), and applicant qualifications (high and low). The two dependent m easures were entry and treatment discrimination. Entry discrimination was evaluated on a the willingness to hire the applicant on a 7 point Likert scale, and treatment discrimination was evaluated based on the starting salary participants stated they would provide the applicant, assuming they were hired. Regardless of interviewer sex and attractiveness, attractive candidates were preferred over unattractive applicants. In line with previous research, male applicants were preferred over female applicants. Ja wahar and Mattsson (2005) also supported these findings. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the three job type conditions (male, female, or gender neutral) and were provided with an information packet containing a background scenario for four jo b candidates varying in gender (male or female) and attractiveness (attractive or unattractive). After familiarizing themselves with this information, they were asked to make selection decisions. Though the candidates' scores were rigged so the difference in the scores across candidates was insignificant, more men than women were hired for the male dominated job, while more women than men were hired for the female dominated job. Additionally, attractive male applicants had a better chance of being selected to a female dominated job than the less attractive male applicant, and the attractive female applicant had a better chance of being selected to a male dominated job than the less attractive female applicant. These results speak to the advantage of attracti veness in the
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE .& workplace and the different employment opportunities that job applicants may encounter as a function of their attractiveness. The advantage granted to attractive individuals lingers in judgments of employee potential. Cash, Gillen, and Burns (1977) provided 60 personnel directors resume packages, which were systematically varied in regards to applicant sex (female or male) and appearance (attractive, unattractive or unknown). Rating of employment potential revealed that attractive applicants were more favorably evaluated than unattractive applicants; for gender consistent jobs attractive applicants were more favorably perceived than unattractive applicants; and attractive applicants were attributed greater overall employment potential than una ttractive applicants. Attractiveness has even been found to have consequences on income. Frieze, Olson and Russell (1991) examined the effects of attractiveness on hiring, starting salaries, and experience on the job. Photographs of 737 MBA graduates were rated for facial attractiveness by four raters with extensive business experience. A questionnaire was sent to the graduates of the MBA programs for which photographs had been rated for attractiveness. The questionnaire included a variety of questions in regards to jobs, including years of work experience before and after achieving a MBA, starting and current salaries, and type of job held, as well as a number of demographic questions. The results support the "what is beautiful is good" stereotype for both men and women. There was a positive effect for more attractive MBAs to earn more once on the job, and for men to make higher earning salaries. For both sexes, being attractive resulted in higher salaries after some years on the job than it did at the time of initial hiring, though women showed weaker results than men.
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE .. & However, the effects of attractiveness have not been shown to be uniformly favorable. The belief that "what is beautiful is good" erroneously implies that physical attractiveness is consiste ntly a virtue. There is reason to question whether physical attractiveness is always an advantage in the workplace. This is particularly the case when the attractive individual is female. Heilman and Saruwatari (1979) explored the effects of both appearanc e and sex on the evaluations for managerial and nonmanagerial positions. Forty five participants randomly assigned to either managerial or nonmanagerial conditions, reviewed packets containing four equivalent standard employment application forms. They res ponded to a brief questionnaire evaluating each job applicant on several dependent measures (qualifications, hiring recommendations, and salary). Attached to each employment application was a portrait photograph of the applicant, manipulating sex (female a nd male) and appearance (attractive and unattractive). Whereas attractiveness consistently proved to provide an advantage for male applicants, it was an advantage for female applicants only when the position was nonmanagerial. There was even a distinct ten dency for attractiveness to work against female applicants. Cash, Gillen, and Burns (1977) also found that women who are attractive are disadvantaged by their appearance in other male sex typed positions. This negative effect is not confined to selection decisions alone; attractiveness also influences assessments of employees' professional potential. Attractiveness has proven to be a distinct disadvantage for managerial women when their work is evaluated and recommendations for organizational awards are ma de (Heilman & Stopeck, 1985). One hundred thirteen participants were presented with the work history of an assistant vice president (AVP) ranging in attractiveness and gender. Their rise to senior ranks was
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE ./ & depicted as either unusually rapid or normative i n pace. After reviewing the material, participants completed an attributional questionnaire. The results revealed that attractive males were thought to be more masculine than unattractive males, and attractive females were thought to be more feminine than unattractive females. Further, unlike findings by Jawahar et al. (2005) where attractiveness was always beneficial to job acquirement, attractiveness had different effects on the degree to which the AVP's success was attributed to ability depending on whet her the AVP was male or female. While males' ability attributions were enhanced by their good looks, females' ability attributions were detrimentally affected by them. Capability judgments ran parallel to these results. These findings raise important impli cations for the negative effects of attractiveness even when women managers have successfully scaled the organizational ladder. There seems to be a reluctance to accept the success of such women as being competent. However, attractiveness does not always prove to be disadvantageous for perceptions of competence. Beneficial consequences of good looks for male managers persisted when they were successful. Success by males was more strongly attributed to ability than was the success of less attractive males, and they were also viewed as more capable individuals. This characteristic was rewarded by recommendations for salary raises and promotions. This demonstrates that the relationship between beauty and the perceived competence of a successful senior manager appears to be a complex one, with conflicting effects for females and males (Heilman & Stopeck, 1985). These studies have shown that physical attractiveness and sex are readily apparent and form the basis for initial attributions of unseen qualities. Thus, it is beneficial to investigate the dynamics by which attractiveness operates in the workplace. As
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE .0 & previously mentioned, Gillen (1981) has demonstrated that attractiveness enhances gender characterizations. That is, an attractive woman is perceived to be more feminine and an attractive man is perceived to be more masculine than their less attractive counterparts. Because femininity and masculinity have a set of stereotypic traits and dispositions associated with them (Rosenkranz et al., 1968), those who ar e more gender typed are also seen as possessing more of these stereotyped attributes. Therein lies the key to the seemingly paradoxical effects of attractiveness for males and females in work settings. The more an individual is viewed as having masculine a ttributes, the better the perceived fit between the individual's characteristics and the job requirements and the more favorable the prognosis for on the job success (Heilman, 1983). Simply on the basis of appearance, the person job fit seems particularly good for attractive males and their prospect for success bright, but the person job fit seems poor for attractive females and their prospects for success are judged to be quite dim. This line of reasoning elucidates why it is that attractive women are disa dvantaged by their appearance when applying for managerial positions and when being considered for promotion. However, recognizing the potency of the expectations that derive from the person job fit assessment, and their implications for evaluations, is ne cessary in understanding how these individuals are regarded once they near the top of the organizational hierarchy. Frieze and Weiner (1971), and Dea u x (1976) contend that expectations about success carry over to causal attributions for that success, if o ccurring. When success is consistent with expectations, it is attributed to stable, internal causes, that is, to an individual's ability. However, when success is unanticipated, it is deemed unstable and
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE .1 & assumed to derive from sources other than the indivi dual's ability, maintaining preconceived ideas about an individual. The process by which the success of an individual is explained is influenced by the initial expectations held about how that individual will perform. These expectations are based on an ass essment of the person job fit. Ambiguity and Rationalization Attribution Stereotype based negative expectations about women's performance in traditionally male domains are tenacious, and there is a powerful tendency to support and maintain them. Further, organizational conditions may facilitate the devaluation of women's performance in blurring the contribution of individuals to a final product. These conditions are particularly conducive to attributions that place responsibility for success elsewhere tha n on the woman. Ambiguity allows predispositions to shape perceptions; it encourages cognitive distortion in line with expectations, thereby preserving and even reinforcing these expectations. Thus, ambiguity in the performance evaluation process helps fu el the dominance of these expectations when making evaluative judgments concerning women (Heilman, 1995; Heilman, Wallen, Fuchs, & Tamkins, 2004; Nieva & Gutek, 1980). Nieva and Gutek (1980) addressed three factors that operate in sex related evaluation bi as. First, the level of inference required of the evaluator appears to be directly related to the incidence of pro male bias. Second, sex related evaluation bias prospers in contexts of sex role incongruency. Third, the level of performance or qualificatio ns may affect the manner in which bias operates. There is a differential reward
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE .2 & system where females are evaluated less favorably than males when they are equally competent or successful, and evaluated more favorably than males when both are not well quali fied or unsuccessful performers. Sex related evaluation bias tends to provide the most difficulty for successful or competent women in situations where there is considerable ambiguity, and that involve sex inappropriate situations or sex role incongruent b ehaviors. The authors stress the need to minimize ambiguity in evaluation situations. Ambiguity in evaluation criteria is not the only type of ambiguity in the evaluation process that fuels the dominance of stereotype based negative expectations for women in traditionally male roles. The ambiguity about the source of the performance outcome can also occur that is, ambiguity about who is actually responsible for bringing it about is also a benchmark. Since teamwork obscures the visibility of individual cont ributions, it is likely to encourage the use of attributional rationalizations to contend with the challenge to stereotyped expectations that a woman's success presents. A recent set of studies supports this idea (Heilman & Haynes, 2005) indicating that wo men, but not men, are judged to be less competent when group rather than individual level feedback is provided. In three experimental studies, Heilman and Haynes (2005) explored how ambiguity about the source of a successful joint performance outcome promo tes attributional rationalization, negatively affecting evaluations of women. Teamwork conceals the visibility of an individual's contribution because of the joint nature of the final product, and successful performance outcome is likely to be attributiona lly rationalized, with stereotype driven negative expectations persisting and remain
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE .3 & unscathed. Therefore, the authors predicted that unless explicit information is provided elucidating the individuals' distinct contributions to the joint product, a percep tion of women that is consistent with stereotypes would be maintained. Furthermore, they predicted that women would get less recognition for high quality work products and consequently their work competence will be disparaged and their task effectiveness d erogated as compared with the men with whom they are working. The first study investigated how employees in a successful mixed sex dyad were evaluated on ratings of competence, influence, and leadership in regards to the type of performance information p rovided (joint versus individual). Participants received a packet of materials encompassing a description of the task (with a photograph attached), background information, and a feedback form. The sex of the employee was assigned by providing a male or fem ale name to each target. Task information was manipulated in the task description provided to participants. Participants complete a questionnaire after reviewing the packet, in which they rated the target on the three dependent variables. In line with thei r hypotheses, Heilman et al. (2005) found that female members were evaluated more negatively when individual performance information was supplied, that women's evaluations were affected more than their male counterpart s, and that women were evaluated more negatively than men when joint performance, as opposed to individual performance information, was provided. A second study manipulated source ambiguity through directly varying the ambiguity of the employee's contribution (with a procedure similar to tha t of Study 1) and supported the results of the first study. In a mixed sex dyad, female employees were judged less favorably when overlapping (rather than unique) task information was
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE .4 & provided. Further, the distribution of task information affected female employees more negatively, and in the absence of any task relevant information, female employees were evaluated more negatively than the male team members, as well as female employees who were provided with unique task information, and no differently than female employees who are provided overlapping task information. A third study, with a similar procedure, varied the specificity of information available regarding former work competence. Female employees were evaluated more negatively when information of past performance excellence was indistinct, rather than specific. Further, information regarding past performance excellence affected women more than men. With the lack of information about past performance excellence, female members were evaluated less fa vorably than male members and other female members granted specific performance excellence information, and were rated no differently than those granted vague performance excellence information. Current Study Existing literature depicts a multitude of factors that function simultaneously to stunt a woman in a masculine gender typed job, including ambiguity and attractiveness. Working together with others obscures the visibility of an individual's contribution. This allows stereotype based expectations about women's competence to prevail through attributional rationalization, detrimentally affecting evaluations of women compared with men who are members of a team working in a traditionally male arena. Previous s tudies have supported the proposition that evaluations of female members' of competence and task effectiveness are derogated even when this joint work is clearly successful, unless
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE .5 & explicit information about individual performance effectiveness is provided (Heilman & Haynes, 2005). Furthermore, it is important to examine the dynamics by which attractiveness operates in work contexts. Attractiveness enhances gender characterizations (Gillen, 1981); that is, an attractive woman is perceived to be more femini ne and an attractive man is viewed to be more masculine than their less attractive counterparts. Because both femininity and masculinity have a set of stereotypic traits associated with them (Rosenkranz et al., 1968), those who are more gender typed are pe rceived as possessing more of these stereotypic attributes. Thus, more attractive women are perceived as more feminine, creating a greater lack of fit in masculine domains. Consistent with earlier research, I predicted the following: Hypothesis 1 Female members will be rated as more feminine when ambiguous (joint) performance information is provided, as compared to when specific, non ambiguous (individual) performance information is provided. Further, the more attractive female members will be more affec ted by the enhanced gender characterizations than their less attractive counterparts, when ambiguous performance information is provided. Since most high level organizational jobs are masculine gender typed, the more an individual is viewed as having mascu line attributes, the better the perceived fit between the individual's characteristics and the job requirements and the more favorable the prognosis for on the job success (Heilman, 1983). Perceptions of capability should parallel these attributional judgm ents. Therefore, the current study tests the proposition that, when an individual's contribution is ambiguous, attractive female members should
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE /6 & be disadvantaged relative to their unattractive counterparts. In contrast, attractive men should benefit from th eir appearance, because of the exaggerations of masculine attributes. Thus, the second hypothesis is as follows: Hypothesis 2: In a successful mixed sex dyad, female members will be evaluated less favorably, with regard to competence, when performance inf ormation is ambiguous (joint), rather than when specific, non ambiguous (individual) performance information is provided. Further, more attractive female members will be more affected by this derogation of competence. When a woman is acknowledged to have b een successful at performing male gender typed work, she is thought to have the attributes necessary to effectively execute the tasks and responsibilities required. But it is these same attributes that are in violation of gender prescriptive norms. So, alt hough there is a good fit between what the woman is perceived to be like and what the job is thought to entail, there is a poor fit between what the woman is perceived to be like and the conception of what she should be like. Like other counter normative b ehavior, this perceived violation of the stereotypic prescription is likely to arouse disapproval and subsequent penalties. These penalties are apt to take the form of social censure and personally directed negativity. I am suggesting that the mere recogni tion that a woman has achieved success on a traditionally male task produces inferences that she has engaged in counter normative behavior, and therefore causes similarly negative consequences. I also expected that whether or not performance information wa s clear would have major consequences for how women were viewed. Thus, the third hypothesis is as follows:
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE /& Hypothesis 3: In a male gender typed job, the female member who has succeeded at a male gender type task will be rated as less likable when specific, non ambiguous (individual) performance information is provided, rather than ambiguous performance information (joint). Method Participants and Design One hundred and seven participants consented to take part in the study, 32 men and 61 women (14 did not respond). The participants ranged in age from 18 to 68 years old (with a mean of 24 years). The study design was a 2 (Performance information) x 3 (Attractiveness of the female target) between subjects factorial design. Performance information was either non ambiguous (individual) or ambiguous (joint), and attractiveness was low, moderate, or high. Participants were recruited through SurveyMonkey links posted on the social networking sites of the principal investigators. Each participant who consented (see Appendix A for informed consent ) was randomly assigned to one of the six experimental conditions. Procedure Participants were informed that the interest of the study was that of employee assessment used in organizations and in identifying the most effici ent way to maximize assessment accuracy. They were then told that they would receive information about two people who were employees of different branches of an organization and who were randomly assigned to work together as a team on a particular task. Pa rticipants were also
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE /. & informed that they would evaluate both of the employees during the course of the study (see Appendix B). Participants received: (1) a task description sheet containing a brief summary of the task, (2) background information sheets fo r each employee in the team (always one male and one female), (3) and task feedback forms providing information about task performance. The decision to have women work with only one other person was implemented in order to provide the most controlled scena rio possible. A dyad allows for a more direct test of the research question. The task, chosen to be male gender typed (Heilman & Haynes, 2005), was to devise an appropriate budget for a computer software company that was opening production facilities in New York and California (see Appendix C). To create the most accurate budget, the specific tax laws of each state had to be considered. The task description sheet also explained that the work had proceeded in two stages, in which the two team members first studied tax laws and created an individual portfolio and then came together in the second half of the task to work in cooperation on a final joint product. To ensure the participants were aware of the mixed sex dyad, the employees' names were included: Ka therine Moore and Samuel Fisher. Katherine and Samuel have been previously rated as the "most successful" names in a small study examining perceptions of different names (Waggoner, 2011). Additionally, Fisher and Moore are parallel in terms of pronunciatio n, and have been used as target names in previous studies (Eagly & Steffen, 1984). Participants were provided with background information about the two employees through an information sheet that supposedly had been filled out by the employee (see
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE // & Appendi x D). The information sheet included information about each employee's current job title (Assistant Vice President of either Internal Finance or Financial Affairs), years at current job (2.5 or 3), specific duties and responsibilities (e.g., performing per iodic cost and productivity analyses, overseeing internal accounts), educational background (bachelor's of science in accounting management or bachelor's of science in accounting finance), and interests and hobbies (reading, travel, tennis or swimming, re ading, music). The information sheets also included composite photographs of the employees. These photographs had been standardized for age, facial expression, dress, and hair. More detailed information in regards to the facial stimuli is discussed below. The female employee photographs differed among conditions as a function of attractiveness. The participants were randomly assigned to low, moderate, or high attractiveness female employee conditions. A composite photograph of a, previously rated, moderatel y attractive male target was included within conditions on the male employee's background information sheet to further manipulate the mixed sex dyad, and to control for contrast effects. These background information sheets were parallel in regards to conte nt, and were counterbalanced across conditions. The task feedback form had an overall evaluation of the team's task outcome filled out by a supervisor; it was always indicated to have been successful. Also included were ratings of eight discrete tasks as sociated with successful task completion (e.g., consideration of stock histories, consideration of current and future political situations, awareness of risks, inclusion of a safety net, product presentation, and so forth) on a 5 point Likert scale ranging from 1( poor ) to 5( excellent ). All participants were provided with positive feedback forms with three "very good" ratings and five "excellent" ratings.
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE /0 & The heading on the feedback form manipulated performance information by reading either "Individual Asses sment Form" or "Group Assessment Form," depending on which condition participants were assigned to. In the specific information condition, participants received a parallel "Individual Assessment Form" for each of the employees, Katherine Fisher and Samuel Moore. Participants in the ambiguous information condition received a "Group Assessment Form" that informed them that the following information was evaluating both employees, Katherine Moore and Samuel Fisher. This joint form paralleled the individual form s in the other condition. After reviewing the information provided, participants were warned that they could not go back to the previous materials while completing the research questionnaire. Participants were then instructed to proceed and complete the research questionnaire. Following completion, the participants were thanked and debriefed. Experimental Manipulations Type of performance information Participants received ratings on the eight aspects of task performance listed on the feedback form in on e of two ways. They were either designated as ratings of each target's individual performance or ratings of how the dyad members had performed jointly (see Appendix E). The feedback factors and ratings were identical in both versions; only the heading on t he feedback form(s) was manipulated, reading either "Individual Assessment Form" or "Group Assessment Form." Attractiveness of target. Each employee's background information sheet included a portrait picture of the target person (for both the female and m ale target). Facial photos (see Appendix F) were originally acquired from a German study on facial attractiveness (Braun, Gruendl, Marberger, & Scherber, 2001). Dr. Martin Gruendl, a lead author in the
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE /1 & initial study, provided the photos for use in the stud y. Each color photo contained a face with a neutral expression against a white background. The individuals in the photographs were wearing white shirts and shown from the top of the shoulders and up. Each individual was rated in the previous study for phys ical attractiveness on a one to seven scale. Three photos were chosen for the female target, one for each of the three attractive conditions (low, moderate, and high). One photo was chosen for the moderately attractive male target, which was used between c onditions, in order to control for contrast effects. The moderately attractive male had an average rating of 4.42 ( SD = 1.22). The less attractive female had an average rating of 3.16 ( SD =.99) The moderately attractive female had an average rating of 4.87( SD =1.16). The more attractive female had an average rating of 6.19( SD =.80). Dependent Measures There were four key dependent measures. The first, perceived competence was a composite based on six items: "To what extent do you think this individual is com petent?" (1= not at all to 9 = very much ), "To what extent do you think this individual is productive?" (1= not at all to 9 = very much ), "To what extent do you think this individual is effective?" (1= not at all to 9 = very much ), "To what extent do you think this individual was influential in determining the joint portfolio?" (1= not at all to 9 = very much ), "To what extent do you think this individual was responsible for the final budget?" (1 = not at all to 9 = very much ), an d "To what extent do you think that this individual took the leadership role?" (1 = not at all to 9 = very much ). The coefficient alpha for the perceived competence measure was .971 for the female employee, and .938 for the male employee.
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE /2 & Additionally, participants completed Reysen's Likeability Scale (Reysen, 2005). This measure quantifies the degree of likeability for a target source in 11 questions answered on a 7 point Likert scale. Previous studies have also found this measure reliable with coefficient alphas ranging from .90 to .91. For the purpose of this study, two unsuitable items were removed, and the scale was changed to fit a 9 point Likert scale, for consistency. The items removed were: "I would like this person as a roommate" a nd "this person is physically attractive." The coefficient alpha for the modified scale was .94 for the female employee, and .94 for the male employee. Further, participants completed the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (Spence & Helmreich, 1978), which assessed the degree to which the participants perceived the targets as masculine and feminine. This measure was a composite based on 24 5 point bipolar adjective scales, on which the participant was asked to describe each target. Items can be classified i nto two general categories: a) instrumental traits that are stereotypically regarded as being masculine and that are socially desired to some degree in both men and women (PAQ M), and b) expressive qualities that are stereotypically ascribed as feminine an d that are positively valued in both women and men (PAQ F). Additionally, it has been shown that the subscales are statistically independent. The coefficient alpha for the femininity measure was .91 for the female employee and .90 for the male employee. Ad ditionally, the coefficient alpha for the masculinity measure was .90 for the female employee and .91 for the male employee. Previous studies have also found this measure reliable with coefficient alphas ranging from .78 to .85.
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE /3 & Manipulation Checks Res ponses to a series of questions were collected to ensure that the manipulations were successful. Participants' report of the sex of the individual they were evaluating indicated that all of them were aware of the sex of the employee. Moreover, participants indicated whether the feedback information they received concerned "separate assessment sheets for each employee" or "a combined assessment sheet for both employees." In addition, responses indicated whether the participants knew that the task outcome had been highly successful, and whether they perceived the task as traditionally masculine or feminine. Participants also rated how attractive and physically appealing the female target was on a 9 point Likert scale (of 1= Unattractive to 9 = Very attractive ) to ensure manipulation of attractiveness. Participants were also asked how old each target appeared to be, as a means to ensure the two targets were thought to be similar in age. Lastly, participants were asked to provide demographic information about the mselves. Results Manipulation Checks Responses to a series of questions indicated that the manipulations were successful. All but four participants correctly reported that they were aware of the sex of the employees being evaluated. Moreover, all, but thr ee, of the participants correctly indicated whether the feedback information they received concerned "an individual's performance" or "the joint performance of the two employees." In addition, to determine whether the performance outcome information was cl ear, participants were asked, "Was the task outcome highly successful?" (with response choices of "yes" and "no"). Responses indicated that this information was effectively presented: All of the
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE /4 & participants knew that the task outcome had been highly succe ssful. Attractiveness was correctly manipulated, participants rated the high attractive Katherine as more attractive ( M =6.5, SD = 1.6) than the moderate attractive Katherine ( M =5.11, SD = .91), t (65)=4.47, p =.00, and low attractive Katherine ( M =4.28, SD = 2. 15), t (62)=4.78, p = 00. Also, the moderate attractive Katherine was rated as significantly more attractive than the low attractive Katherine, t (61)=2.08, p =.04. Additionally, Samuel was rated moderately ( M =4.8, SD = 1.44). To account for age, the participan ts were asked how old the employees appeared to be. Even though the female employee ( M =27.27, SD = 2.5) was perceived to differ in age from the male employee ( M = 27.9, SD= 3.18), t (94)=3.05, p < .001, however the effect size reveals that this difference is small (Cohen's d =.22). Dependent Measures Initial analyses indicated that participant gender did not qualify the interactive effects of performance information and attractiveness for any of the dependent variables; thus, data from male and female participants were collapsed for all subsequent analyses. 1 Femininity. A two way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted for the perceived femininity scores for the female employee. Table 1 presents t he relevant means and standard deviations. The results indicated a marginally significant main effect for attractiveness on perceived femininity, F (2, 91) = 2.80, p = .06, p 2 =.06, though there was no significant main effect for type of performance inform ation, F (1, 91) = .88, p = .35, p 2 =.001. The results also revealed that this main effect was qualified by a significant interaction of performance information and attractiveness on femininity &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& &&&&&&&&&&&&&&& & 1 There was no three way interaction among participant sex, performance information, and attractiveness for the competence F (2,81)=.52, p =.60, n p 2 =.14, likeability F (2,81)=.11, p =.90, n p 2 =.07 or femininity F (2,80)=1.27, p =.29, n p 2 =.27 measures. As a result, participant sex was removed from further analyses.
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE /5 & ratings, F (2, 91) =3.11, p =.049, p 2 =.064, supporting my first hypothesis. The focused contrasts indicated that, although there was no significant difference between the low, F (1, 91) = .88, p = .35, p 2 =.001, and moderate, F (1, 91) = .01, p = .92, p 2 =.00, female targets on ratings of femininity depending on whether the individual's prior success was non ambiguous (individual) or ambiguous (joint), the female employee in the high attractiveness condition was rated as significantly more feminine when the performance outcome was ambiguous ( M = 6.27, SD = 1.42), than when the outcome was non ambiguous ( M = 5.27, SD = .96), F (1, 91) = 8.29, p = .013, p 2 =.07. Competence A two way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted for the perceived competence scores for the female employee. Table 2 presents the relevant means and stan dard deviations. The results indicated a significant main effect for type of performance information on perceived competence, F (1, 101) = 5.55, p = .02, p 2 =.05, though there was no significant main effect for attractiveness, F (2, 101) = 1.23, p = .296, p 2 =.02. Consistent with my second hypothesis, the female employees were rated as significantly less competent when participants were provided with ambiguous (joint) performance information ( M =7.35, SD =1.52), rather than non ambiguous (individual) performan ce information ( M =8.02, SD =1.21). However, there was not a significant interaction of performance information and attractiveness on competence ratings, F (2, 101) =1.93, p =.15, p 2 =.04. Although I predicted an interaction of performance information and att ractiveness on competence, the observed power was low. I conducted three hypothesis driven planned contrasts. I employed a Bonferroni adjustment to limit alpha inflation; the adjusted alpha for each contrast was .017. The simple effects of performance info rmation
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 06 & were not significant within the low attractiveness, F (1, 101) =.78, p =.38, p 2 = .01, and moderate attractiveness conditions, F (1, 101) =.05, p =.821, p 2 = .00. However, results indicated a significant simple effect of performance information in the high attractiveness condition, F (1, 101) =.8.60, p =.004, p 2 =.08. Though there was no significant difference between the low and moderate female targets on rat ings of competence depending on whether the individual's prior success was made explicit (individual) or left ambiguous (joint), the female employee in the high attractiveness condition was rated as significantly less competent when the performance outcome was left ambiguous ( M = 6.67, SD = 2.31), than when the outcome was non ambiguous ( M = 8.09, SD = .89). Likeability. A two way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted for the likeability scores for the female employee. Table 3 presents the relevant means and standard deviations. Inconsistent with the third hypothesis, the results indicated a marginally significant main effect for attractiveness on likeability, F (2, 98) = 2.68, p = .07, p 2 =.05, though there was no significant main effect for type of perf ormance information on likeability, F (1, 98) < .01, p = .958, p 2 =.00. The high attractive employees were rated as significantly more likeable ( M = 6.41, SD = 1.22) than their moderate ( M = 5.85, SD = 85 ) or low attractive ( M = 5.76, SD = 1.62) counterparts. However, there was not a significant interaction of performance information and attractiveness on likeability ratings, F (2, 98) =1.49, p =.23, p 2 =.03. Secondary Analyses: Further analyses were conducted only for participants assigned to the moderate attractiveness condition, in order to examine gender disparities in the evaluation process, while holding attractiveness constant. A 2 (Target gender: female, male) X 2 (Performance Information: ambiguous, non ambiguous) mixed
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 0& factorial de sign with repeated measures on the first factor revealed a marginally significant interaction for target gender and performance information on competence ratings, F (1, 31) = 3.631, p = .06, p 2 =.11. Table 4 presents the relevant means and standard deviatio ns. A paired samples t test indicated that there were no significant differences between the female ( M =8.09, SD =.90) and male ( M =8.22, SD =.75) employees perceived competence scores in the non ambiguous(individual) condition, t (15)=.72, p =.48. Additionally another paired samples t test indicated no significant differences between the female ( M = 7.83, SD = .79) and male ( M = 7.32, SD = 1.16) employees perceived competence scores in the ambiguous (joint) condition, t (16)=1.83, p =.17. A 2 (Target gender: female, male) X 2 (Performance Information: ambiguous, non ambiguous) mixed factorial design with repeated measures on the first factor revealed a significant interaction for target gender and performance information on likeability rati ngs, F (1, 30) = 4.19, p = .049, p 2 =.123. Table 5 presents the relevant means and standard deviations. A paired samples t test indicated that there was a significant difference between the female ( M =5.74, SD =1.07) and male ( M =6.35, SD =.98) employee's perce ived likeability scores in the non ambiguous condition, t (15)=2.16, p =.047. The female employee was perceived as less likeable than her male counterpart. However, another paired samples t test indicated that, when performance information was ambiguous, th ere was not a significant difference between the female ( M =6.14, SD =.59) and male's ( M =6.03, SD = .877) likeability scores, t (15)=.524, p =.608. Finally, a 2 (Target gender: female, male) X 2 (Performance Information: ambiguous, non ambiguous) mixed factor ial design with repeated measures on the first
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 0. & factor revealed a non significant interaction for target gender and performance information on femininity ratings, F (1, 31) = .22, p = .64, p 2 =.007. Table 6 presents the relevant means and standard deviations Further there was no main effect of target gender, F (1, 31) = 1.52, p = .23, p 2 =.05, and a marginally significant main effect of performance information on perceived femininity, F (1,31) = 3.63, p =.06, p 2 =.11, the employees in the non ambiguous performance information condition ( M =4.96, SD = .83) were perceived as less masculine than their counterparts provided with ambiguous performance information( M =5.06, SD = .79). Discussion The results of this study demonstrate that despite outcome success, women can be disadvantaged in their evaluations when they work together with men on male sex typed tasks. Consistent with my second hypothesis, the female employees were perceived as less competent when performance information was ambiguous, and this derog ation was especially prevalent for female members rated as more attractive. In line with my first hypothesis, the finding that the highly attractive female employee was perceived as more feminine, when ambiguous performance information was present, lends m uch insight into the dynamics by which attractiveness operates in the workplace. This provides a conceptual tool for understanding the negative consequences that appearance has on competence. Attractiveness can be a liability for women by enhancing gender stereotypic attributes. Thus, there is a poor fit between what the woman is perceived to be like and what the job is thought to entail creating a greater lack of fit. However, when the female employee was acknowledged to have been successful at performing a male gender typed task in violation of gender prescriptive norms, disapproval and subsequent penalties on
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 0/ & interpersonal hostility did not arise. Rather, the more attractive female employees were more liked than their less attractive counterparts, regardl ess of the type of performance information provided. Results from this study support the idea that ambiguity about the nature of individual contribution to a joint effort, which is typical of work on a collective product, promotes attributional rationaliz ation and the crediting of team successes to someone other than the female team member. However, when the female and male competence scores were compared (holding attractiveness constant), there were no differences in either performance information conditi on. The male employee was seen in the same light, in regards to competence, when source ambiguity was not constrained. The findings therefore suggest that the ambiguity about individual contribution inherent in many joint endeavors produces a context in wh ich negative stereotype based expectations about women can persevere despite even the most successful outcomes, producing negative evaluations of female team members, especially those perceived as more attractive, as well as male team members. My predictio ns about the effects of appearance were based on the idea that attractiveness affects gender characterizations (Gillen, 1981). Ratings on the femininity scale indicated that attractiveness did indeed produce different characterizations of the female employ ees' femininity. The findings are moreover consistent with the idea that differential assessments of person job fit are a key to understanding the seemingly inconsistent reactions to attractive and less attractive women in employment settings (Heilman, 198 3).
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 00 & The results also demonstrate that the effects of appearance are not uniform: attractiveness was shown to have both favorable and a deleterious effect for working women in the workplace. Attractiveness generally benefited females' likeability ratings, b ut proved to be a liability for competence ratings. These results underscore the "beauty is beastly" (Heilman & Saruwatari, 1979) argument, and point to the "what is beautiful is good" (Dion, Berscheid, & Walster, 1972) argument. However, it is crucial to distinguish between the different measures used in research. Too often there is an assumption that different measures are essentially equivalent and consequently interchangeable in providing information about occupational bias. Such an assumption can be er roneous. Implications The present findings therefore raise serious questions about the blanket effectiveness of providing performance information as a mechanism for dispelling negative evaluations of women in traditionally male gender typed jobs. This supp orts Heilman and Haynes's (2005) findings that information of success is not always enough to preclude the derogation of women and their work. However, contrary to recurrent and ubiquitous support for gender disparities in the workplace, the male employees were also perceived as less competent in the presence of ambiguous information. Unless the success information is unequivocally diagnostic of the team members, both of the team members are penalized. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that alth ough participants were blind to the attractiveness conditions, in that they only saw and evaluated one Katherine Moore (female team member), every participant examined both Katherine Moore and Samuel Fisher (the male team member). Thus, social desirability
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 01 & may have come into play. Respondents may have felt pressured to remain consistent with their scores in rating the two employees, in order to appear fair and unprejudiced. The results also imply that succeeding in mixed sex teams on male gender typed task s need not always produce negative evaluations of the female team members. It is not working in a team in itself, but rather the ambiguity about individual contribution coupled with the expectations that are typically held for women's performance in male s ex typed tasks that provoke the negativity. Furthermore, when these are eliminated, so is attributional rationalization and the negative evaluations it generates. Unfortunately, the conditions under which most work teams function are ones in which source a mbiguity flourishes, due to the collective nature of the work that teams do and their identity as a unit. More often than not, there is ignorance of the female members' past performance record. Thus, negative expectations are not challenged; rarely do memb ers of work organizations boast their latest performance evaluations on their lapels, and this information is generally confidential, whether positive or negative. Another finding that has interesting implications is the lack of difference of female and male participants' ratings. Although it makes sense to assume that women would be more sensitive to the general tendency to devalue other women in evaluations, either bending backward to treat them equally or even better than men, there were no differences in ratings. Though both female and male participants rated the moderately attractive male and female team members generally equally, they both derogated the performance of the more feminine female member. This finding is not unique; it has been documented repeatedly in research investigating women in work settings (Dipboye et al., 1977; Heilman & Haynes, 2005;). Evidently women are just as likely as are men to hold
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 02 & negative expectations about women and to subsequently engage in attributional rationalizatio n, derogating women's competence and task effectiveness in ambiguous work settings. An important question raised by the results relates to the content of gender stereotypes. Ratings of masculinity and femininity for the moderately attractive female and mal e employees did not significantly differ. That is, in general, the male employee was perceived to be just as feminine as the female employee, and the female employee was rated to be just as masculine as the male employee. Have gender stereotypes changed? R esearch is needed to investigate the current perceptions of masculinity and to identify which traits constitute both female and male gender stereotypes. Limitations There is little question that the methodology used in this research limits the degree to wh ich the findings can be extrapolated. The study utilized a small sample of mostly undergraduates as participants, which limits the type of work experience prevalent in the sample, restricting the generalizations that can be made from the data. However, man y studies have found that the only difference between student s and managers is that students generally rate employees more favorably (Dipboye et al 1975). Further, this study employed an online survey, lacking the control available in other studies emplo ying a more regulated environment, and falling vulnerable to increased error variance. Moreover, participants were put in a passive observer role and had no interaction with the team members they were evaluating nor did they expect any future contact with them. Performance evaluation situations are not always comparable to the one evidenced in this study. Often, those making such judgments and decisions have an ongoing relationship
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 03 & with the employee. Thus, their past personal experiences and/or anticipated future ones are likely to influence their evaluations and action preferences. Furthermore, decision makers typically have more information about the individual than did participants in this study and, if they do not, they have access to such information. T hese factors also place limits on the generalizability of these findings, and are suggestive of how and in what way subsequent work should be directed if the effects of appearance on performance appraisal and postappraisal decisions are to be clarified. A lthough various evaluations in work settings are in actuality carried out from the third party stance employed in this study, it is worthwhile to explore whether these results occur when other team members evaluate women in successful mixed sex teams as we ll as how these women evaluate themselves. Also, investigating the presence of richer information for the team members, and other instances of their work together, may be valuable. Further, the size and composition of the team may moderate the processes of interest. Also, this study is concerned with only successful teams, however the dynamics of a team that has failed may be important to consider. Future Directions The research presented here is only the first step in exploring ambiguity in the evaluation process and its potentially deleterious effects on women in organizational settings. To further test these ideas, it is important to clarify the conditions under which it is, and is not, likely to occur. For example, the effects found in this study should occur only when the team task is male in sex type. It is the negative expectations that derive from the perceived lack of fit between the attributes thought to characterize women and the attributes thought to be necessary to do male sex typed tasks that ma y drive
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 04 & attributional rationalization, and therefore when the task is neutral or female in sex type, these expectations, should not result. Aside from gaining a greater conceptual clarity about attributional rationalization, it is also important to conside r broader implications of attributional rationalization arising from source ambiguity -ambiguity about individual contribution to a work product. Working with others is not the only cause of ambiguity about individual contribution in organizational life. O ther causes, such as support groups, may also pave the way for the devaluation of the competence and task effectiveness of successful women. The underlying issue is not working in teams but the ambiguity that it fosters and the way in which such ambiguity provides a vehicle for maintaining negative performance expectations about women. Thus, any organizational procedure or practice that creates ambiguity about individual contribution might very well have similar effects. Future research would gain from exp loring moderating information, such as the role of providing individual contributions and past performance excellence in undercutting the stereotype based expectations that have deleterious effects on competence and task related evaluations in situations w here there is source ambiguity. Further, taking into account subjective differences in susceptibility to bias, such as sex role, religious, political, and authoritative attitudes may provide a more well rounded understanding of the propensity toward these biases. These findings imply that women, who choose to pursue traditionally male careers, are negatively affected by circumstances that make their femininity salient. But here also lies a critical leverage point for women seeking to advance their caree rs in fields traditionally dominated by men. For appearance is not the only attribute that
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 05 & determines how feminine one is viewed to be -self presentation (including voice and dress), work habits, and interpersonal style are apt to be comparably compellin g. Behaving at work in a manner that does not conform to stereotypic views should be a formidable remedy to a feminine appearance in determining the course of such women's career progress. Future research should investigate the mitigating potential of non ambiguous performance information in evaluations under such circumstances. Even in an organizational landscape filled with ambiguity, and likely to promote a subjective evaluative orientation, there are elements of the context that can cause people to be m ore cautious in making inferences about others, relying less on expectations. Thus, gender bias is not inevitable. There is a substantial body of research documenting motivation as an important factor in the application of stereotypes (Fiske, 2004). Specif ically, this just tendency prevails for evaluators strongly motivated to make accurate judgments. This is likely to occur when the evaluator is in an interdependent relationship with the evaluated, such that their outcomes rely on the accuracy of the evalu ation; or the evaluator knows that they are going to have to account to others for the decisions made. Previous research has even found that exposure to the successes of women in traditionally male occupations mitigate against subsequent sex bias in select ion decisions. Future research should examine the factors that can mitigate the influence of expectations despite subjectivity in limiting the strength and prevalence of stereotype based performance expectations and their biasing effects (Heilman & Haynes, 2008). These inquiries notwithstanding, the results reported here are reasons for concern. If women in nontraditional work domains succeed in situations in which source ambiguity prospers, and are denied credit for their part in bringing about a success, then
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 16 & there is a potential price to be paid, literally. This is especially problematic when women are further devalued upon the salience of their femininity. Women of talent and promise may be bypassed in career advancement or demoted to non central positio ns. Beyond promotion and salary consequences, these women may be hindered from progressing up the organizational ladder and lost as valuable resources for the organization.
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WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 13 & Table 1 Means and Standard Deviations of Performance Information and Attractiveness on Femininity Attractiveness Performance Information Low Medium High M SD M SD M SD Non ambiguous 5.58 1.57 5.09 .86 5.28 .96 (Individual) Ambiguous 5.19 1.05 5.15 .75 6.27 1.42 (Joint)
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 14 & Table 2 Means and Standard Deviations of Performance Information and Attractiveness on Competence Attractiveness Performance Information Low Medium High M SD M SD M SD Non am biguous 8.00 1.7 7.96 1.03 8.09 .89 (Individual) Ambig uous 7.57 1.5 7.82 .74 6.67 2.31 (Joint)
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 15 & Table 3 Means and Standard Deviations of Performance Information and Attractiveness on Likeability Attractiveness Performance Information Low Medium High M SD M SD M SD Non ambiguous 6.05 1.78 5.65 1.09 6.29 1.04 (Individual) Ambiguous 5.45 1.46 6.05 .60 6.52 1.41 (Joint)
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 26 & Table 4 Means and Standard Deviations of Performance Information and Target Gender on Competence Target Gender Performance Information Female Male M SD M SD Non ambiguous 8.09 .90 8.22 .79 (Individual) Ambiguous 7.83 .75 7.32 1.16 (Joint)
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 2& Table 5 Means and Standard Deviations of Performance Information and Target Gender on Likeability Target Gender Performance Information Female Male M SD M SD Non ambiguous 5.74 1.07 6.35 .98 (Individual) Ambiguous 6.14 .59 6.03 .88 (Joint)
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 2. & Table 6 Means and Standard Deviations of Performance Information and Target Gender on Femininity Target Gender Performance Information Female Male M SD M SD Non ambiguous 5.09 .86 4.83 .79 (Individual) Ambiguous 5.15 .75 4.97 .83 (Joint)
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 2/ & Appendix A
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 20 &
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 21 & Appendix B
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 22 & Appendix C
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 23 & Appendix D
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 24 & Appendix E
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 25 &
WOMEN, ATTRACTIVENESS, AMBIGUITY IN WORKPLACE 36 & Appendix F Attractiveness Manipulations: Low (Female) Moderate ( Female ) High (Female) Moderate ( Male )