Skirting the Competence Issue: Effects of Sex-Based Preferential Selection on Task Choices of Women and Men

Madeline E. Heilman, J. Carlos Rivero, Joan F. Brett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Undergraduates participated in 2 different laboratory studies in which they were selected for a high-status male sex-typed role either on the basis of merit or preferentially on the basis of their sex. They subsequently were given a choice of two tasks to work on, one more demanding than the other. Results of the first study indicated that, as predicted, selection method affected the task preference of women but not men. Only women participated in the second study, in which the role of self-perceptions of competence as a mediating factor in the relationship between selection method and task choice was examined further. As anticipated, results indicated that only when information was left ambiguous did preferential selection have adverse effects. The theoretical and organizationally relevant implications of the findings are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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