The current study investigated the effects of stereotype threat on emotional intelligence (EI) performance and the utility of implicit theories of emotion (ITE; fixed/growth mind-set) to reduce stereotype threat effects. In Experiment 1, 186 adults received one of four EI stereotype conditions (threat, boost, nullified threat, and control) and then completed measures of ability-based EI and ITE. The results revealed that women outperform men in the “threat to men” and control conditions and that ITE moderated this gender difference. In the nullified threat condition, men with a growth mind-set outperformed men with a fixed mind-set. In Experiment 2, EI stereotypes and ITE were manipulated. The results from 452 adults indicated that the ITE manipulation affected men’s EI performance but not women’s. Overall, men adopting a growth mind-set demonstrated trends in which they outperformed men adopting a fixed mind-set. Implications related to the reduction of gender disparities in EI performance are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This publication was made possible through support from a Diverse Intelligences grant from Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc., awarded to R. Doyle. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc.
- emotional intelligence
- gender differences
- implicit theories