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Tobias Rohrbach and Maaike Homan @ Hot Politics Lab

November 25, 2022 @ 3:00 pm 4:00 pm

In this graduate Friday session of the Hot Politics Lab, PhD candidate Tobias Rohrbach (Université de Fribourg) will give a talk titled “Disentangling Stereotype Incongruity in Candidate Evaluation”. Afterwards PhD candidate Maaike Homan (University of Amsterdam) will give a talk titled “Same Anger, Different Perception? Gender Bias in Emotion Perception of Politicians”.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A, and everbody is welcome to join via Zoom: https://uva-live.zoom.us/j/96492065253  at 3pm (CET).

Abstract “Disentangling Stereotype Incongruity in Candidate Evaluation”: Academia and political campaigners conventionally cast gender stereotypes as an electoral liability for women in politics. Incongruent stereotype expectations place women in a double-bind where they either fail the social demands of political leadership or they breach gender norms related to femininity—with potential backlash due to stereotype violation in both cases. Two decades of research offer conflicting conclusions regarding the role of stereotype incongruity in candidate evaluations and its electoral consequences for women in politics. This paper theoretically revisits and empirically tests core assumptions of stereotype incongruity as a driver of gender biases in political communication. In a series of five online survey experiments, this study examines incongruity in trait evaluation (studies 1 and 2), trait inferences (studies 3 and 4), and trait perceptions (study 5). The results show that voters reward (or punish) candidates of both gender groups similarly for displaying stereotypically desirable (or undesirable) traits. Voters infer and perceive incongruity in candidate traits for women and men politicians only in few but notable cases. The findings have important implications for the understanding of persistent biases that women face in electoral politics.