The price of power: Power seeking and backlash against female politicians

Okimoto, Tyler G. and Brescoll, Victoria L. (2010) The price of power: Power seeking and backlash against female politicians. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36 7: 923-936. doi:10.1177/0146167210371949

Author Okimoto, Tyler G.
Brescoll, Victoria L.
Title The price of power: Power seeking and backlash against female politicians
Journal name Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0146-1672
Publication date 2010-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0146167210371949
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 36
Issue 7
Start page 923
End page 936
Total pages 14
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Abstract Two experimental studies examined the effect of power-seeking intentions on backlash toward women in political office. It was hypothesized that a female politician’s career progress may be hindered by the belief that she seeks power, as this desire may violate prescribed communal expectations for women and thereby elicit interpersonal penalties. Results suggested that voting preferences for female candidates were negatively influenced by her power-seeking intentions (actual or perceived) but that preferences for male candidates were unaffected by power-seeking intentions. These differential reactions were partly explained by the perceived lack of communality implied by women’s power-seeking intentions, resulting in lower perceived competence and feelings of moral outrage. The presence of moral-emotional reactions suggests that backlash arises from the violation of communal prescriptions rather than normative deviations more generally. These findings illuminate one potential source of gender bias in politics.
Keyword Backlash
Gender stereotypes
Moral outrage
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: UQ Business School Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 61 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 65 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 11 Jul 2011, 21:51:47 EST by Karen Morgan on behalf of UQ Business School