The individual and combined impact of blatant stereotype activation and solo status or mixed-sex groups on the self-appraisals, performance, and anxiety of female leaders was examined across three laboratory studies. The first study utilized a two-condition, two-stage design in which female leaders were exposed to a blatant stereotype threat or control condition after which they completed a leadership task. In the second stage, the threatened leaders received a solo status manipulation (leading a group of men) while the control condition did not. In the second study a 2 (blatant threat, no blatant threat) by 2 (solo status, all-female group) fully factorial design was used to test the hypotheses. Finally, in Study 3, a similar factorial design was used with a mixed-sex, rather than solo, condition. Across the studies it was hypothesized and found that receiving a single stereotype threat would result in a positive, stereotype reactance, response. However, when both threats were combined a stereotype vulnerability response was elicited, as expected. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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© 2011 Elsevier. Article first published online: OCT 2010.

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Hoyt, Crystal L., Johnson, Stefanie K., Murphy, Susan Elaine & Skinnell, Kerry Hogue (2010). The impact of blatant stereotype activation and group sex-composition on female leaders. The Leadership Quarterly, 21(5), 716-732. doi: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.07.003