An Expectancy/Value Perspective on the Demotivating Effects of Prejudice


Collette P. Eccleston, Syracuse University, Department of Psychology, 430 Huntington Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244. E-mail:


This study examined whether expecting prejudice is demotivating. Women were led to believe they were being evaluated for a co-manager position. They were randomly assigned to receive information that the evaluator held negative attitudes toward women or that he did not. We hypothesized that compared to women led to believe that the evaluator was unprejudiced, women led to believe the evaluator was prejudiced would: (a) have lower expectations for being chosen as co-manager; (b) place less value on being chosen as co-manager; and (c) be less motivated to perform a task that would influence selection as co-manager. We predicted that the effect of prejudice on motivation would be mediated by expectations and valuing of success. Results were consistent with predictions.