Biases

Angry women are less persuasive than angry men, study claims

New research by Arizona State University has found that women who express anger lose influence over their peers, while men doing the same are actually more persuasive. For the study, 210 participants were part of a computer-simulated jury, where they believed they were interacting with five other participants through typed responses. and asked to deliver a verdict. The participants were scripted by the researchers, however, and while four of them agreed with the participant, there was one “angry juror” who disagreed.

While this “juror” was named either Alicia or Jason, his or her answers remained identical. At various stages throughout the process, the study participants were asked how confident they felt about their decision. The result: when “Jason” started expressing anger, people’s confidence in their opinion would drop, but when “Alicia” expressed anger they grew more confident.

The study’s lead author, Jessica Salerno, an assistant professor of psychology, believes the results point towards an (unconscious) gender bias: we think the anger comes from a different source for men and women. “Male anger is situational. People think they must really have a reason to be so passionate. It’s situational conviction.”

Salorne explained. “Female anger tends to be attributed to something internal. People think: ‘That’s just such an emotional person, she’s not thinking clearly.’” Salerno expressed her hope that these results would not stop women from expressing their anger, but rather help well-intentioned people to call attention to their personal biases.

Read the full story at Time.

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