Women likelier to be seen as less ‘creative thinkers’ than men

By: | Published: September 29, 2015 1:24 PM

A new study has revealed that men are more likely to be seen as creative thinkers than women...

A new study has revealed that men are more likely to be seen as creative thinkers than women.

In the study, researchers from the Duke University randomly assigned 80 participants to read a passage describing a type of creativity: the ability to think outside the box or the ability to connect the dots.

The participants associated creativity more with stereotypically masculine traits, including decisiveness, competitiveness, risk-taking, ambition, and daring, than with stereotypically feminine traits like cooperation, understanding, and support to others, and this tendency was particularly pronounced when participants considered creativity as thinking outside the box.

In the second study, the researchers randomly assigned 169 participants to read about either an architect or a fashion designer. Some were told the professional was male and others were told that the professional was female. The participants viewed three images of the person’s work and rated the work on its creativity, originality, and outside-the-box thinking.

According to the researchers, male architect would be rated as more creative than female architect, but that this gender difference would not emerge in the context of fashion design because traditional male stereotypes might be more difficult to apply in the domain of fashion.

The researchers also found that male executives tended to be judged as more innovative than their female counterparts were and male manager who took risks was viewed as being more adventurous, courageous, and independent and this boosted perceptions of his creativity.

Lead researcher Devon Proudfoot of the Duke University said that these results suggested that gender bias in creativity judgments might affect tangible economic outcomes for men and women in the workplace.

The study is published in the Journal Psychological Science.

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