Negotiating the Double Bind: Interpersonal and Instrumental Evaluations of Dominance

Negotiating the Double Bind: Interpersonal and Instrumental Evaluations of Dominance The double bind of dominance—that it can help to attain status but might jeopardize social relationships—was investigated by examining evaluations based on interpersonal skill (e.g., getting along well with others) and instrumental skill (e.g., accomplishing a task). Role congruity theory (Eagly and Diekman 2005; Eagly and Karau 2002) posits that behavior will be evaluated more positively when it is congruent with valued social roles. Two experiments were conducted to explore the importance of context in evaluations of dominance. In both experiments, dominance was more devalued in contexts related to interpersonal skill than in those related to instrumental skill. Experiment 1 demonstrated that the penalty for dominant behavior decreased when the target also displayed warmth, thereby affirming diffuse prosocial roles. Experiment 2 demonstrated that dominant behavior incurred greater penalties in communal versus agentic occupations. The results support a contextual, role-based explanation of evaluative processes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Negotiating the Double Bind: Interpersonal and Instrumental Evaluations of Dominance

Sex Roles , Volume 56 (10) – May 22, 2007
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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-007-9198-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The double bind of dominance—that it can help to attain status but might jeopardize social relationships—was investigated by examining evaluations based on interpersonal skill (e.g., getting along well with others) and instrumental skill (e.g., accomplishing a task). Role congruity theory (Eagly and Diekman 2005; Eagly and Karau 2002) posits that behavior will be evaluated more positively when it is congruent with valued social roles. Two experiments were conducted to explore the importance of context in evaluations of dominance. In both experiments, dominance was more devalued in contexts related to interpersonal skill than in those related to instrumental skill. Experiment 1 demonstrated that the penalty for dominant behavior decreased when the target also displayed warmth, thereby affirming diffuse prosocial roles. Experiment 2 demonstrated that dominant behavior incurred greater penalties in communal versus agentic occupations. The results support a contextual, role-based explanation of evaluative processes.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: May 22, 2007

References

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