Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Harold Goldstein

Committee Members

Charles Scherbaum

Joel Lefkowitz

Samuel Johnson

Logan Watts

Subject Categories

Industrial and Organizational Psychology


Leadership, Gender, Race, Stereotyping


Although Asian Americans and women tend to be relatively well represented in professional roles, they continue to be underrepresented in executive-level leadership positions. This paper examined a combination of factors believed to contribute to the shortage of Asian American and female leaders in organizations – in particular, descriptive and prescriptive stereotyping. Thus, the current study examined how participants responded to an Asian American or White, male or female applicant being considered for a leadership role. All targets were qualified, but varied on levels of warmth and/or dominance. Overall, it was hypothesized that the Asian American and female candidates behaving counterstereotypically (e.g., dominantly) would be subject to backlash, in the form of more negative affective reactions and lower leadership ratings compared to similar White and/or male candidates. A study was conducted online with White male participants recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Ultimately, the results of the study did not support the predicted hypotheses. A discussion of the results and potential reasons for these findings are included.