Gender differences in decision-making: The effects of gender stereotype threat moderated by sensitivity to punishment and fear of negative evaluation

Author: Villanueva-Moya, Laura; Exposito, Francisca

Description: Research has demonstrated gender differences in the decision-making process, showing that women make more disadvantageous risk decisions than men. However, these differences have not been examined in terms of psychosocial or socio-structural variables, such as the gender stereotype threat. We conducted an experimental study (Ns = 105) to test the well-established stereotype threat effect on decision-making through the Iowa Gambling Task and the possible moderation of this effect by sensitivity to punishment and fear of negative evaluation. The results revealed that women under a stereotype threat condition make more disadvantageous risk decisions than men in the same conditions or women in the nonstereotype threat condition. Moreover, women greatly fearing negative evaluation seemed to make more disadvantageous risk decisions compared with other groups. These findings highlight the relevance of psychosocial variables that legitimize gender inequality, such as the stereotype threat and fear of negative evaluation, in women’s decision-making process.

Subject headings: Gender differences; Decision-making; Women; Men; Threat; Psychosocial variables; Stereotypes; Negative evaluation; Fear

Publication year: 2021

Journal or book title: Journal of Behavioral Decision Making

Volume: 34

Issue: 5

Pages: 706-717

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Serial number: 3800

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