Women and African Americans are less influential when they express anger during group decision making

Jessica Salerno, Liana C. Peter-Hagene, Alexander C.V. Jay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Expressing anger can signal that someone is certain and competent, thereby increasing their social influence—but does this strategy work for everyone? After assessing gender- and race-based emotion stereotypes (Study 1), we assessed the effect of expressing anger on social influence during group decision making as a function of gender (Studies 2–3) and race (Study 3). Participants took part in a computerized mock jury decision-making task, during which they read scripted comments ostensibly from other jurors. A “holdout” juror always disagreed with the participant and four other confederate group members. We predicted that the contextual factor of who expressed emotion would trump what was expressed in determining whether anger is a useful persuasion strategy. People perceived all holdouts expressing anger as more emotional than holdouts who expressed identical arguments without anger. Yet holdouts who expressed anger (versus no anger) were less effective and influential when they were female (but not male, Study 2) or Black (but not White, Study 3)—despite having expressed identical arguments and anger. Although anger expression made participants perceive the holdouts as more emotional regardless of race and gender, being perceived as more emotional was selectively used to discredit women and African Americans. These diverging consequences of anger expression have implications for societally important group decisions, including life-and-death decisions made by juries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-79
Number of pages23
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

group decision
Anger
anger
African Americans
Decision Making
Decision making
decision making
emotion
American
Group Decision Making
Expressed Emotion
Persuasive Communication
gender studies
gender
persuasion
group membership
stereotype
Emotions
Emotion
death

Keywords

  • anger
  • discrimination
  • emotion
  • gender
  • jury decision making
  • minority influence
  • persuasion
  • race
  • social influence
  • stereotyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Women and African Americans are less influential when they express anger during group decision making. / Salerno, Jessica; Peter-Hagene, Liana C.; Jay, Alexander C.V.

In: Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, Vol. 22, No. 1, 01.01.2019, p. 57-79.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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