Uniform TitleSelf-promotion vs. backlash prevention: regulatory focus and gender differences in self-advocacy
NameMoss-Racusin, Corinne Alison (author), Rudman, Laurie A. (chair), Sanchez, Diana (internal member), Wilder, David (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Sex difference (Psychology)
DescriptionConsiderable evidence has shown that, relative to men, women are less effective at self-advocacy, despite its importance for closing the gender gap in professional success. Women fear backlash for counterstereotypical behavior (such as self-promotion, which violates prescriptions for female communality), and engage in defensive strategies designed to avoid it (Rudman & Fairchild, 2004). No research has tested the effects of fear of backlash on performance (e.g., self-advocacy). To address this gap, I propose that backlash threat leads to an inhibitory prevention focused self-regulatory style (Crowe & Higgins, 1997) that subsequently interferes with women's self-advocacy ability. In contrast, because self-advocacy behavior does not violate masculine prescriptive stereotypes, I expect that men will not experience fear of backlash; as a result, they will employ a successful promotion focused regulatory style, and demonstrate greater self-advocacy ability. Experiment 1 validated the usage of a lexical decision task to implicitly assess acute regulatory focus. Experiment 2 tested my focal hypotheses by comparing male and female participants on a self or peer-advocacy task. Results did not support the hypothesized gender differences or the predictive utility of the proposed model. However, for self-advocating women, the model performed as expected, such that threat of backlash lead to lowered ability to employ a useful promotion focused regulatory style, resulting in diminished advocacy ability. Implications for future research and women's self-advocacy abilities, as well as limitations of the research, are discussed.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 60-68).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.