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Favorable Evaluations of Black and White Women’s Workplace Anger During the Era of #MeToo

Authors
  • McCormick-Huhn, Kaitlin1
  • Shields, Stephanie A.2
  • 1 William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV , (United States)
  • 2 Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA , (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Feb 25, 2021
Volume
12
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.594260
Source
Frontiers
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Psychology
  • Original Research
License
Green

Abstract

Researchers investigating gender and anger have consistently found that White women, but not White men, are evaluated unfavorably when experiencing anger in the workplace. Our project originally aimed to extend findings on White women’s, Black women’s, and White men’s workplace anger by examining whether evaluations are exacerbated or buffered by invalidating or affirming comments from others. In stark contrast to previous research on gender stereotyping and anger evaluations, however, results across four studies (N = 1,095) showed that both Black and White women portrayed as experiencing anger in the workplace were evaluated more favorably than White men doing so. After Study 1’s initial failure to conceptually replicate, we investigated whether perceivers’ evaluations of women’s workplace anger could have been affected by the contemporaneous cultural event of #MeToo. Supporting this possibility, we found evaluations were moderated by news engagement and beliefs that workplace opportunities are gendered. Additionally, we found invalidating comments rarely affected evaluations of a protagonist yet affirming comments tended to favorably affect evaluations. Overall, findings suggest the need for psychologists to consider the temporary, or perhaps lasting, effects of cultural events on research outcomes.

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