This research examined how third party statements impact the evaluation of male and female politicians caught in a scandal (i.e., extramarital affair). Governor's sex was crossed with three types of support statements: third party supportive (TPS), third party non-supportive (TPNS), and governor self-supportive (GSS). In Experiment 1, a female politician was evaluated more positively than a male politician. The TPS and the GSS conditions were both evaluated more positively than the TPNS condition. Experiment 2's design was similar to Experiment 1's, except it involved multiple affairs. In Experiment 2, participants used the third party's statements as an information source and thus reduced their use of gender stereotypes in the TPS and TPNS conditions compared to the GSS condition. We also found that male respondents gave more negative evaluations of the female governor than female respondents. Implications for the gender stereotype and social influence literatures are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Part of this article was presented at the 22nd Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, in Boston, MA; and at the 84th Midwestern Psychological Association Meeting in Chicago, IL. We thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier version of this article. The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from the Psychology Endowment Fund at the University of Minnesota, Morris.
- gender stereotypes
- political scandal