Implicit Bias and Design: Research and Critical Writing
Men tend to be perceived as more creative than women even when the work they produce is identical, according to new research from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.
A team including Professor Aaron Kay found creativity and innovation are more closely associated with stereotypically male traits, and that this belief can lead people to judge men as more creative than women. The findings suggest women could be at a professional disadvantage in workplaces where creative thinking is most valued, such as the booming tech sector.
A team comprising Kay and Ph.D. students Devon Proudfoot and Christy Zhou Koval parsed publicly available data and conducted several lab studies. Their findings, "A Gender Bias in the Attribution of Creativity: Archival and Experimental Evidence for the Perceived Association between Masculinity and Creative Thinking," are published online in the journal Psychological Science.
In one of the 5 studies, 169 participants were asked to rate the creativity of both male and female fashion designers and architects. While there was no gender difference in creativity ratings for the fashion designers — a job stereotypically associated with women — the male architects were judged as more creative than the women, even though their work was identical.