Limits...
Hair penalties: the negative influence of Afrocentric hair on ratings of Black women's dominance and professionalism.

Opie TR, Phillips KW - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: Women are penalized if they do not behave in a stereotype-congruent manner (Heilman, 1983, 2001; Eagly and Carli, 2007).Black, as compared to White, evaluators gave higher agency penalties to Black employment candidates when they donned Afrocentric versus Eurocentric hair, rating them as more dominant and less professional.The present research illustrates the significance of considering both target and evaluator race when examining the influence of agency, and specifically dominance, on ratings of professionalism.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Management Division, Babson College, Babson Park MA, USA.

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Women are penalized if they do not behave in a stereotype-congruent manner (Heilman, 1983, 2001; Eagly and Carli, 2007). For example, because women are not expected to be agentic they incur an "agency penalty" for expressing anger, dominance or assertiveness (Rudman, 1998; Rudman and Glick, 1999, 2001; Eagly and Karau, 2002; Rudman and Fairchild, 2004; Brescoll and Uhlmann, 2008; Livingston et al., 2012). Yet, all women are not equally penalized (Livingston et al., 2012). We make a novel contribution by examining how both White and Black evaluators respond to displays of Black women's dominance, in this case, whether Black women choose to wear Afrocentric or Eurocentric hairstyles.

Design/methodology/approach: We conducted three experimental studies to examine the influence of target hairstyle and participant race on ratings of the target's professionalism (Studies 1, 2, and 3) and dominance (Study 2). Study 1 was an online experimental study with 200 participants (112 females, 87 males, 1 missing gender; 160 Whites, 19 Blacks, 11 Latinos, 7 Asian Americans and 3 who identify as "other"; M age = 35.5, SD = 11.4). Study 2 was an online experimental study with 510 participants (276 women, 234 males; 256 Blacks, 254 Whites; M age = 41.25 years, SD = 12.21). Study 3 was an online experimental study with 291 participants (141 Blacks, 150 Whites, M age = 47.5 years, SD = 11.66).

Findings: Black, as compared to White, evaluators gave higher agency penalties to Black employment candidates when they donned Afrocentric versus Eurocentric hair, rating them as more dominant and less professional.

Implications: The present research illustrates the significance of considering both target and evaluator race when examining the influence of agency, and specifically dominance, on ratings of professionalism.

No MeSH data available.


Images used in studies.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4553896&req=5

Figure 1: Images used in studies.

Mentions: The first author and a professional Photoshop expert selected three images of White women and two images of Black women from iStockPhoto, an online photography provider, to enable subsequent testing of actor effects. All of the images were selected based on the actor having a facial position that was square with the camera and having a hairstyle that did not obstruct the shoulders so that the professional suit could be clearly viewed. The original hair was retained for two of the White female actors. We Photoshopped the hairstyle of the remaining White female actor so that all White female actors would have a similar straight hairstyle. Images of the Black females were Photoshopped so that there was a version of the two Black models with each of the following hairstyles: relaxed chemically processed (i.e., straight, Eurocentric hair), Afro hair, and Dreadlock hair (a hairstyle where hair grows into coiled ropes of hair). We chose two different Afrocentric hairstyles as this enabled us to investigate whether professionalism ratings were due to the overall Afrocentric category or a specific Afrocentric hairstyle. This resulted in nine versions of the stimuli (see Figure 1). Independent samples t-tests revealed no significant within-race actor or within hairstyle condition effects for the dependent variables of interest so we collapsed across hairstyle conditions resulting in Afrocentric and Eurocentric conditions. All of the p-values were greater than 0.1.


Hair penalties: the negative influence of Afrocentric hair on ratings of Black women's dominance and professionalism.

Opie TR, Phillips KW - Front Psychol (2015)

Images used in studies.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4553896&req=5

Figure 1: Images used in studies.
Mentions: The first author and a professional Photoshop expert selected three images of White women and two images of Black women from iStockPhoto, an online photography provider, to enable subsequent testing of actor effects. All of the images were selected based on the actor having a facial position that was square with the camera and having a hairstyle that did not obstruct the shoulders so that the professional suit could be clearly viewed. The original hair was retained for two of the White female actors. We Photoshopped the hairstyle of the remaining White female actor so that all White female actors would have a similar straight hairstyle. Images of the Black females were Photoshopped so that there was a version of the two Black models with each of the following hairstyles: relaxed chemically processed (i.e., straight, Eurocentric hair), Afro hair, and Dreadlock hair (a hairstyle where hair grows into coiled ropes of hair). We chose two different Afrocentric hairstyles as this enabled us to investigate whether professionalism ratings were due to the overall Afrocentric category or a specific Afrocentric hairstyle. This resulted in nine versions of the stimuli (see Figure 1). Independent samples t-tests revealed no significant within-race actor or within hairstyle condition effects for the dependent variables of interest so we collapsed across hairstyle conditions resulting in Afrocentric and Eurocentric conditions. All of the p-values were greater than 0.1.

Bottom Line: Women are penalized if they do not behave in a stereotype-congruent manner (Heilman, 1983, 2001; Eagly and Carli, 2007).Black, as compared to White, evaluators gave higher agency penalties to Black employment candidates when they donned Afrocentric versus Eurocentric hair, rating them as more dominant and less professional.The present research illustrates the significance of considering both target and evaluator race when examining the influence of agency, and specifically dominance, on ratings of professionalism.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Management Division, Babson College, Babson Park MA, USA.

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Women are penalized if they do not behave in a stereotype-congruent manner (Heilman, 1983, 2001; Eagly and Carli, 2007). For example, because women are not expected to be agentic they incur an "agency penalty" for expressing anger, dominance or assertiveness (Rudman, 1998; Rudman and Glick, 1999, 2001; Eagly and Karau, 2002; Rudman and Fairchild, 2004; Brescoll and Uhlmann, 2008; Livingston et al., 2012). Yet, all women are not equally penalized (Livingston et al., 2012). We make a novel contribution by examining how both White and Black evaluators respond to displays of Black women's dominance, in this case, whether Black women choose to wear Afrocentric or Eurocentric hairstyles.

Design/methodology/approach: We conducted three experimental studies to examine the influence of target hairstyle and participant race on ratings of the target's professionalism (Studies 1, 2, and 3) and dominance (Study 2). Study 1 was an online experimental study with 200 participants (112 females, 87 males, 1 missing gender; 160 Whites, 19 Blacks, 11 Latinos, 7 Asian Americans and 3 who identify as "other"; M age = 35.5, SD = 11.4). Study 2 was an online experimental study with 510 participants (276 women, 234 males; 256 Blacks, 254 Whites; M age = 41.25 years, SD = 12.21). Study 3 was an online experimental study with 291 participants (141 Blacks, 150 Whites, M age = 47.5 years, SD = 11.66).

Findings: Black, as compared to White, evaluators gave higher agency penalties to Black employment candidates when they donned Afrocentric versus Eurocentric hair, rating them as more dominant and less professional.

Implications: The present research illustrates the significance of considering both target and evaluator race when examining the influence of agency, and specifically dominance, on ratings of professionalism.

No MeSH data available.