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Abstract

Extending research on implicit theories to the leadership domain, we examined how individual differences in belief about the malleability of leadership ability influenced responses to stereotype threat. The study consisted of two time periods. At time 1, we assessed individual differences in implicit theories of leadership ability and self-efficacy for leadership. At time 2, we activated a stereotype threat in a high-stakes environment. Results revealed that women reported lower self-evaluation after a stereotype threat when they had low self-efficacy and believed leadership ability to be fixed (entity theory) rather than malleable (incremental theory). Results are discussed in terms of how implicit theories generate a network of allied cognitions and emotions that subsequently predict stable patterns of behavior.