Gender stereotypes and decision context in the evaluation of political candidates

Ellen D.B. Riggle, Penny M. Miller, Todd G. Shields, Mitzi M.S. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Past studies investigating the effects of negative gender stereotypes on information processing about women political candidates have produced mixed results. Some studies find evidence of strong stereotypic biases against women candidates while other work fails to uncover such biases. One possible solution to these discrepant findings is the cognitive complexity of the decision task. Research from social psychology suggests that people may rely on stereotypic processing strategies only when cognitive demand is low. We conduct two experiments investigating the effects of gender stereotypes in low and high complexity decision tasks. We find evidence of stereotype bias only in the low complexity task. Implications of these findings for women in electoral politics, as well as future research investigating the effects of gender stereotypes, are examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-88
Number of pages20
JournalWomen and Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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