A commonly held stereotype is that women are poor drivers. This stereotype is recognized and endorsed by women and girls very early on, long before taking their driving licence, nevertheless they are less involved in accidents and drive safer and less fast than men. In line with the stereotype threat theory, the present study tests the hypothesis that making the driving stereotype salient will lead women to underperform in a driving simulation task. In Experiment 1 women in the stereotype threat condition were told that the aim of the study was to detect gender differences in driving whereas in a control condition no study aim was provided. In Experiment 2, two conditions were compared: stereotype threat (same instructions as in Experiment 1), and stereotype boost (the alleged goal was to compare driving ability of young vs. old people). As predicted, the results of both experiments showed that women under stereotype threat, as compared to either control or stereotype boost participants, doubled the number of mistakes. Nevertheless, they overall expected/self-reported to drive/have driven poorly. Importantly, their level of expectation was a significant predictor of their actual driving performance only in the stereotype threat condition. Implications of these effects of stereotype threat on women's driving performance and self-assessment are discussed. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Women drive better if not stereotyped

Moè, Angelica
;
Cadinu, Mara;Maass, Anne
2015

Abstract

A commonly held stereotype is that women are poor drivers. This stereotype is recognized and endorsed by women and girls very early on, long before taking their driving licence, nevertheless they are less involved in accidents and drive safer and less fast than men. In line with the stereotype threat theory, the present study tests the hypothesis that making the driving stereotype salient will lead women to underperform in a driving simulation task. In Experiment 1 women in the stereotype threat condition were told that the aim of the study was to detect gender differences in driving whereas in a control condition no study aim was provided. In Experiment 2, two conditions were compared: stereotype threat (same instructions as in Experiment 1), and stereotype boost (the alleged goal was to compare driving ability of young vs. old people). As predicted, the results of both experiments showed that women under stereotype threat, as compared to either control or stereotype boost participants, doubled the number of mistakes. Nevertheless, they overall expected/self-reported to drive/have driven poorly. Importantly, their level of expectation was a significant predictor of their actual driving performance only in the stereotype threat condition. Implications of these effects of stereotype threat on women's driving performance and self-assessment are discussed. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3466041
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