Imagining oneself in a stereotyped role may not only increase women's endorsement of stereotypes about women and science, but also stifle broader concerns about social change. In the experiment, 81 women imagined themselves on a stereotypical or a counter-stereotypical career path (vs. a control condition). Participants in the stereotypical imagery condition endorsed to a higher extent the stereotypes about women and science, and crucially, were more resistant to social change in general. Stereotype endorsement mediated the relationship between exposure to stereotypes and resistance to social change. Results imply that tackling occupational gender stereotypes is crucial not only because they exclude women from male-dominated careers, but also because of a potentially pervasive negative impact on broader egalitarian concerns.
- social change resistance