Automatic Ingroup Bias as Resistance to Traditional Gender Roles?


  • Soledad de Lemus
  • Russell Spears
  • Juan Lupiáñez
  • Marcin Bukowski Orcid
  • Miguel Moya


Traditional roles are problematic for women because they constrain their life choices. Therefore, women have a vested interest in challenging them. We argue that women can resist pervasive traditional roles by showing automatic ingroup bias. In two studies we used an associative procedure to expose two groups of women to stereotypical vs. counter-stereotypical roles, and measured implicit ingroup bias with an evaluative decision task. Study 1 shows that women activated ingroup bias when they were exposed to stereotypical roles and targets appeared in a stereotype-congruent context (kitchen). Study 2 shows that automatic ingroup bias was activated only when gender roles were salient. Further, stereotypic role associations promote negative emotions, and increased persistence on a stereotype-relevant performance task in women.