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Abstract

In each of 84 mixed-sex dyads, a low performance self-esteem woman was appointed to the role of leader in the dyad's decision-making task. Situation and person-centered approaches to promoting the woman's leadership behavior were tested by providing information regarding the women's task-relevant competence to one, both, or neither dyad member prior to the day of the task. Decision outcome scores and ratings of audio tapes served as measures of dyadic influence. When women were given the leadership information beforehand, they were more leaderlike and their partners were more acquiescent; informing men beforehand had little effect on the interaction, especially when the women had not been informed. Subjects' postdiscussion self-ratings, partner ratings, and perceived partner ratings suggested subtle forms of male defensiveness and more obvious forms of female discomfort with the leader role.