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Perceived centrality in social networks increases women’s expectations of confronting sexism

Journal

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

Subject

Organisational Behaviour

Authors / Editors

Rattan A;Brands R

Biographies

Publication Year

2020

Abstract

This paper integrates the study of intergroup relations and social network cognition, predicting that women who occupy central (vs. peripheral) advice network positions are more likely to confront a coworker’s gender-biased comment. Study 1 offers correlational evidence of the predicted link between perceived advice network centrality and confronting among employed women, uniquely in advice (but not communication) networks. Study 2 replicates and investigates two possible mechanisms–perceptions of the situation as public and perceived risk of confronting. Study 3 rules out order effects and tests an additional mechanism (expectations of the network members). Study 4 is an experiment that shows people expect central (vs. peripheral) women to confront more, even when she is lower (vs. equal) power. Study 5 replicates the core hypothesis in retrospective accounts of women’s responses to real workplace gender bias. Study 6 compares multiple potential mechanisms to provide greater insight into why centrality reliably predicts confrontation.

Available on ECCH

No


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