Madeline Heilman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

space

NYU Psychology

Programs

Courses

Research

Faculty

People

Events

Contacts

[Internal]

 

Madeline Heilman

 

 

 

 

 

 

space

Research

Biography

Publications

Address

 

 

 

 

Professor of Psychology
Social  

Research

Sex Bias in Work Settings

My current research is part of a longstanding program of investigation concerning gender stereotypes and how they bias evaluations of women in work settings.  There are three separate research interests that currently predominate.

 

The first concerns the way in which the perceived lack of fit between stereotypes of women and perceptions of the requirements for jobs considered to be male in gender type leads to negative performance expectations, and resulting gender bias in judgments.  We have shown, for example, that women, as compared to men, are less likely to be selected for male gender-typed positions, are more likely to have their performance in such positions devalued, and are given fewer opportunities for career advancement.  More recently, we have focused on the tenacity of stereotype-based expectations and their resistance to disconfirming information.  For example, we have demonstrated a process we call “attributional rationalization”, in which a woman member of a successful team is unlikely to get as much credit for a team’s success as her male counterpart, and she is seen as having been less influential in bringing about the successful outcome.  We are currently investigating other ways in which positive performance information about women is distorted so as to maintain gender stereotypes, and are examining the ways in which perceptions of femininity, such as being a mother or being attractive, can exacerbate stereotyped-based bias. 

 

The second research interest concerns the unintended negative effects of preferential selection on those who have been targeted to benefit from it.  On the one hand we are interested in the reactions of others to those who are believed to have been preferentially selected through diversity or affirmative action programs.  On the other hand, we are interested in how those people who believe they have been preferentially selected for important positions feel about themselves and their work, and how they perform on the job as a consequence.   To date, we have demonstrated that a stigma of incompetence is attached to those perceived to have obtained their positions through a preferential selection procedure.  We also have demonstrated that preferential selection as compared to merit-based selection can result in a more negative view of self and performance, a greater desire to relinquish a leadership role, a greater incidence of mistreatment of similar others, and an increased choice of undemanding and routine tasks.  Current work focuses on the cues people use to infer that preferential selection has in fact occurred.

 

The third research interest involves gender stereotypic norms, which dictate the ways in which women should behave, and the disapproval and approbation women experience for violating these “shoulds”.  We have looked at reactions to actual violations of prescribed behaviors, demonstrating that women who choose not to help others are reacted to far more negatively than males who behave similarly, and are given less credit when they do help.  Moreover, we have looked at inferred violations of gender norms, and shown that women are penalized for being successful in domains that are considered to be male, and are disliked and interpersonally derogated as a consequence.  We have further probed the dynamics underlying this process, and have considered why women join men in penalizing women for their success, whether men also are subjected to penalties when they are successful in gender inconsistent domains, and the ways in which a woman’s perceived femininity can intensify or ameliorate these effects.   In addition, we currently are addressing the question of whether women’s anticipation of being penalized for gender norm violation leads to self-censorship of self advocating behaviors in an effort to stave off negative reactions.

back to the top

Biography

Education:

Ph.D. 1972 (social psychology), Columbia;
B.S. 1967 (child development and family relations), Cornell.

Affiliations:

-         American Psychological Association

-    American Psychological Society
-    Academy of Management

-         Society of Industrial/Organizational Psychology

-         Society of Social and Personality Psychology

-         Society of Organizational Behavior

back to the top

Selected Publications

Heilman, M.E. & Parks-Stamm, E.J. (2007). Gender stereotypes in the workplace: Obstacles to women’s career progress.  In S.J. Correll (Ed.), Social Psychology of Gender. Advances in Group Processes (Volume 24) 47-78.  Elsevier Ltd., JAI Press.

Heilman, M.E. &  Okimoto. T.G. (2007).  Why are women penalized for success at male tasks?: The implied communality deficit.  Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 81-92. 

Lyness, K.S. & Heilman, M.E. (2006).   When fit is fundamental: Performance evaluations and promotions of upper-level female and male managers.  Journal of Applied Psychology, 91, 777-785. 

Heilman, M.E. & Welle, B. (2006).  Disadvantaged by diversity: The effects of diversity goals on competence perception.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 36, 1291-1319. 

Heilman, M.E.  & Haynes, M.C.  (2006).  Affirmative action: Unintended adverse effects.  In M.F. Karsten (Ed.), Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Workplace (Vol 2), 1-24. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Co. 

Heilman, M.E. & Chen, J.J.  (2005).  Same behavior, different consequences: Reactions to men’s and women’s altruistic citizenship behavior.  Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 431-441.

Heilman
, M.E, & Haynes, M.C. (2005).  Attributional rationalization of women’s success in mixed-sex teams: No credit where credit is due.  Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 905-                 916.   

Heilman
, M.E.
, Wallen, A.S., Fuchs, D. & Tamkins, M.M. (2004).  Penalties for success: Reactions to women who succeed at male tasks.  Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 416-427.
 

Heilman
, M.E. (2001).  Description and prescription: How gender stereotypes prevent women’s ascent up the organizational ladder.  Journal of Social Issues, 57, 657-674.

back to the top


Address

Madeline Heilman
Professor of Psychology

Department of Psychology
New York University
6 Washington Place, Room 576
New York, NY 10003
Tel: (212) 998-7813
Fax: (212) 995-4018

Email: madeline.heilman@nyu.edu

back to the top

Updated