A Gender Bias in the Attribution of Creativity: Archival and Experimental Evidence for the Perceived Association Between Masculinity and Creative Thinking.

Published

Journal Article

We propose that the propensity to think creatively tends to be associated with independence and self-direction-qualities generally ascribed to men-so that men are often perceived to be more creative than women. In two experiments, we found that "outside the box" creativity is more strongly associated with stereotypically masculine characteristics (e.g., daring and self-reliance) than with stereotypically feminine characteristics (e.g., cooperativeness and supportiveness; Study 1) and that a man is ascribed more creativity than a woman when they produce identical output (Study 2). Analyzing archival data, we found that men's ideas are evaluated as more ingenious than women's ideas (Study 3) and that female executives are stereotyped as less innovative than their male counterparts when evaluated by their supervisors (Study 4). Finally, we observed that stereotypically masculine behavior enhances a man's perceived creativity, whereas identical behavior does not enhance a woman's perceived creativity (Study 5). This boost in men's perceived creativity is mediated by attributions of agency, not competence, and predicts perceptions of reward deservingness.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Proudfoot, D; Kay, AC; Koval, CZ

Published Date

  • November 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 26 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 1751 - 1761

PubMed ID

  • 26386015

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26386015

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9280

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0956-7976

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0956797615598739

Language

  • eng