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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.


Mean ratings of negativity about candidate appearance by participant race and hairstyle condition in Study 3.
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Figure 4: Mean ratings of negativity about candidate appearance by participant race and hairstyle condition in Study 3.

Mentions: A Hairstyle (Afrocentric, Eurocentric) by Participant Race (Black, White) ANOVA yielded a main effect for Afrocentric hairstyle, F(1,271) = 60.22, p < 0.001, = 0.18, such that negative assessments of the employment candidate were significantly higher in the Afrocentric condition than in the Eurocentric condition, t(273) = -7.58, p < 0.001. The main effect of participant race was not significant, F(1,271) = 1.51, p = 0.22. However, the interaction between hairstyle and participant race was significant, F(1,271) = 6.28, p < 0.05, = 0.02 indicating that the Afrocentric effect was strongest amongst Blacks (see Figure 4). Black participants rated employment candidates with Afrocentric hair more negatively than they rated the employment candidates with Eurocentric hair, t(131) = -6.80, p < 0.001 and more negatively than White participants rated the Afrocentric conditions, t(155) = -2.55, p < 0.05. As in Study 2, for White participants there was still a difference, with Afrocentric hair being rated more negative than Eurocentric hair, t(140) = -3.97, p < 0.001, but the effect was not as strong as that found for Black participants. Black and White participants did not differ in negativity toward the employment candidates with Eurocentric hair t(116) = 1.04, ns. Thus, our predictions were supported (see Table 4).


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

Opie TR, Phillips KW - Front Psychol (2015)

Mean ratings of negativity about candidate appearance by participant race and hairstyle condition in Study 3.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 4: Mean ratings of negativity about candidate appearance by participant race and hairstyle condition in Study 3.
Mentions: A Hairstyle (Afrocentric, Eurocentric) by Participant Race (Black, White) ANOVA yielded a main effect for Afrocentric hairstyle, F(1,271) = 60.22, p < 0.001, = 0.18, such that negative assessments of the employment candidate were significantly higher in the Afrocentric condition than in the Eurocentric condition, t(273) = -7.58, p < 0.001. The main effect of participant race was not significant, F(1,271) = 1.51, p = 0.22. However, the interaction between hairstyle and participant race was significant, F(1,271) = 6.28, p < 0.05, = 0.02 indicating that the Afrocentric effect was strongest amongst Blacks (see Figure 4). Black participants rated employment candidates with Afrocentric hair more negatively than they rated the employment candidates with Eurocentric hair, t(131) = -6.80, p < 0.001 and more negatively than White participants rated the Afrocentric conditions, t(155) = -2.55, p < 0.05. As in Study 2, for White participants there was still a difference, with Afrocentric hair being rated more negative than Eurocentric hair, t(140) = -3.97, p < 0.001, but the effect was not as strong as that found for Black participants. Black and White participants did not differ in negativity toward the employment candidates with Eurocentric hair t(116) = 1.04, ns. Thus, our predictions were supported (see Table 4).

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.