Whereas leadership is generally perceived as a masculine enterprise, heroism research suggests that people view heroes as similarly masculine, but having more feminine traits. We predicted that heroes will be evaluated higher than leaders in communion but not differ in agency. In Study 1, heroes were perceived to have higher communion and similarly high agency as leaders. In Studies 2 and 3, we replicated these trait ratings focusing on perceptions of typical heroes/leaders (S2) and personal heroes/leaders (S3). In Study 4, we showed that the greater level of communion associated with heroes is independent of their gender. In Study 5, using an implicit association test, we showed there is a stronger implicit association of communion with heroes than leaders.

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Copyright © 2020 Hogrefe Verlag.

DOI: 10.1027/1864-9335/a000422

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Hoyt, Crystal L., Scott T. Allison, Agatha Barnowski, & Aliya Sultan. "Lay Theories of Heroism and Leadership: The Role of Gender, Communion, and Agency." Social Psychology (July 2, 2020). doi:10.1027/1864-9335/a000422.