In the Words of Larry Summers

Gender Stereotypes and Implicit Beliefs in Negotiations
Published in Neuroeconomics and the Firm
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In this book chapter, written with Laura Kray and Michael Haselhuhn, Connson and her co-authors explored the effect of gender stereotypes on negotiation ability. They found that negative stereotypes can sometimes boost performance in the stereotyped group, especially when negotiators believed that negotiation skills can be learned.


We present two experiments that explore how endorsing the belief that innate ability differences apply to men and women affects performance in mixed-motive negotiations. In contrast to stereotype lift (Walton & Cohen, 2003), which predicts a benefit for positively stereotyped negotiators, we demonstrate in Experiment 1 that gender stereotype endorsement impairs performance for positively stereotyped negotiators relative to negatively stereotyped negotiators, and decreases joint performance by causing both negotiators to overlook commonalities. In Experiment 2, we explore whether reactions to stereotype endorsement are moderated by negotiators’ implicit beliefs about the malleability of performance. We demonstrate that stereotype reactance, or an ironic performance boost by the negatively stereotyped negotiator, is promoted by a belief that negotiating ability is malleable. Fixed beliefs about negotiating ability render negotiators immune to the endorsement of gender stereotypes.

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