Stereotype threat in India: Gender and leadership choices

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Stereotype threat is a psychosocial dilemma experienced by members of a negatively stereotyped group in situations where they fear they may confirm the stereotype. This study examined the phenomenon in India, thereby extending previous research to another culture. In addition, with participation by students preparing to be professionals, the results are applicable to organizational settings. Ninety graduate students from a professional training institute viewed common Indian advertisements under three conditions: gender stereotypic (women depicted as homemakers), counter stereotypic (women represented as professionally employed individuals) and neutral (no reference to any gender identity). It was hypothesized that females in the stereotypic ... continued below

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Prasad, Ambika December 2007.

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  • Prasad, Ambika

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Description

Stereotype threat is a psychosocial dilemma experienced by members of a negatively stereotyped group in situations where they fear they may confirm the stereotype. This study examined the phenomenon in India, thereby extending previous research to another culture. In addition, with participation by students preparing to be professionals, the results are applicable to organizational settings. Ninety graduate students from a professional training institute viewed common Indian advertisements under three conditions: gender stereotypic (women depicted as homemakers), counter stereotypic (women represented as professionally employed individuals) and neutral (no reference to any gender identity). It was hypothesized that females in the stereotypic condition would be susceptible to stereotype threat effect and thus opt for problem solver over leadership role on a subsequent task, while females in the counter stereotypic condition were expected to choose leadership roles. ANOVA was employed to test for differences across the three conditions. The study also hypothesized mediation of the stereotype threat performance deficits by self-efficacy, evaluation apprehension, anxiety, role conflict, stereotype activation, father's and mother's education levels. Hierarchical multiple regression procedures as recommended by Baron and Kenny (1986) were conducted for mediational analysis. Data analysis provided partial support for the two hypotheses. In support of the stereotype threat theory, condition emerged as a significant variable influencing selection of role choice. In line with previous research, no evidence for mediation by any of the variables studied as potential mediators was found. However role conflict and evaluation apprehension may have functioned as suppressor variables that enhanced the variance in the condition-role choice relationship. The results of the study and their implications, in context of the Indian scenario, are discussed. Certain limitations are identified and suggestions made for future research.

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  • December 2007

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  • May 2, 2008, 3:18 p.m.

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  • March 1, 2012, 5:31 p.m.

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Prasad, Ambika. Stereotype threat in India: Gender and leadership choices, dissertation, December 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5128/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .