Anticipating Public Performance: Do Women Fear Appearing Intellectually Less Able?
Article first published online: 21 MAR 2011
© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 41, Issue 3, pages 682–698, March 2011
How to Cite
Larkin, J. E. and Pines, H. A. (2011), Anticipating Public Performance: Do Women Fear Appearing Intellectually Less Able?. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41: 682–698. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2011.00732.x
- Issue published online: 21 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 21 MAR 2011
Two ecologically valid studies involving anticipated public performance offer insight into women's tendencies to avoid placing their abilities under a spotlight. First, in an experimental study, women felt less comfortable than did men and experienced more personal risk when they anticipated that their test scores would be public. Second, in a naturalistic observational setting, students taking an experiential forensic psychology course were required to perform intellectually challenging activities in public. Women displayed more concern about the course requirements than did men, and subsequently dropped the course in disproportionate numbers. Higgins' (1997) regulatory focus theory provides a theoretical framework for interpreting the data.