Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.
Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Author ORCID Identifier
Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Linda M. Isbell
Lynnette L. Sievert
Would relatively subtle signals that women are devalued in performance environments have interpersonal consequences for women? My dissertation tests this question across three experiments. In Experiment 1, women (N = 109) completed a mock job interview with a subtly sexist (vs. neutral) interviewer while under stereotype threat or no threat. Women under any form of threat (either stereotype threat or interacting with a subtly sexist interviewer) reported greater feelings of threat and more negative evaluations of the interviewer relative to women under no threat at all (neutral interviewer, no stereotype threat). In Experiment 2, male and female naïve observers (N = 185) viewed videos of interviewees from Experiment 1 without sound. Interviewees under no threats at all were evaluated quite favorably; however, interviewees under either form of threat (stereotype threat or interacting with a subtly sexist interviewer) were evaluated as less competent and hireable than interviewees under neither threat. In Experiment 3 (N = 277), women watched a video of and rehearsed interacting with the subtly sexist or neutral interviewer from Experiment 1 after being subtly excluded (vs. equally included; a manipulation of belonging threat) during an online game with three male players. Exposure to the subtly sexist interviewer led to greater expected threat in the interview, which in turn decreased the perceived identity safety of the work environment, but only for women whose belonging had previously been threatened. Exposure to the subtly sexist interviewer also increased women’s desire to be evaluated as physically attractive but decreased their motivations to approach the interviewer; these effects were not moderated by belonging threat, however. The results of these three experiments suggest that experiences of social identity threat from the environment and from social interactions not only impact women’s self-concepts, motivations, and behavior, but can also lead outside observers to evaluate these women as less capable and less qualified.
Dennehy, Tara C., "Stereotypes in Interactions: The Interpersonal Consequences of Threatened Belonging" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations. 2101.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.