Michelle K. Ryan's research while affiliated with Bielefeld University and other places

Publications (124)

Article
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Many diversity interventions for women are ineffective. One reason for this may be that the field that diversity interventions are usually based on, the social sciences, often do not consider intra-group differences among women. Specifically, differences by racialization may be excluded from such diversity interventions. The present research examin...
Preprint
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In this project we: 1. Presented a conceptual framework to classify the many available strategies to promote workplace gender equality and discuss their legitimacy. 2. Produced five novel reviews of the academic literature to systematise evidence on the effectiveness of different strategies in achieving change in the workplace gender equality indic...
Article
Women are seen as more risk-avoidant in the workplace, and some have argued that this contributes to occupational gender gaps. Across two correlational and three experimental studies (total N = 2280), we examined the role of consequences of workplace risk-taking in determining the likelihood of taking future risks at work. We found no evidence for...
Article
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Research on social identity and leadership rarely examines leadership processes from the perspective of leaders themselves. Three studies (experimental, longitudinal, cross-sectional) help fill this gap. Integrating social identity principles with a reflected appraisals perspective, we demonstrate that as individuals come to see themselves as (info...
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OBJECTIVE Amidst growing numbers of women in certain areas of medicine (eg, general practice/primary care), yet their continued under-representation in others (eg, surgical specialties), this study examines (1) whether medical professionals mistakenly infer that women are now broadly well represented, overestimating women’s true representation in s...
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The present paper examines longitudinally how subjective perceptions about COVID-19, one’s community, and the government predict adherence to public health measures to reduce the spread of the virus. Using an international survey ( N = 3040), we test how infection risk perception, trust in the governmental response and communications about COVID-19...
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Before vaccines for COVID-19 became available, a set of infection prevention behaviors constituted the primary means to mitigate the virus spread. Our study aimed to identify important predictors of this set of behaviors. Whereas social and health psychological theories suggest a limited set of predictors, machine learning analyses can identify cor...
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Anxiety associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and home confinement has been associated with adverse health behaviors, such as unhealthy eating, smoking, and drinking. However, most studies have been limited by regional sampling, which precludes the examination of behavioral consequences associated with the pandemic at a global level. Further, few s...
Article
Sexual harassment and other forms of gendered discrimination are social psychological phenomena, yet the psychological impact of sexual harassment has rarely been examined through a model which considers the role of diverse content of gender identity (i.e. norms). We used an experimental design to investigate how salient norms associated with the s...
Conference Paper
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This Conference has been designed to bring together talent from academia and the broader public and private sectors (both for-profit and not-for-profit) to participate in respectful, professional, and rigorous debate about gender and sexuality at work. We aim to learn from each other and to find better ways to work together in building the knowled...
Article
Understanding the determinants of COVID-19 vaccine uptake is important to inform policy decisions and plan vaccination campaigns. The aims of this research were to: (1) explore the individual- and country-level determinants of intentions to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, and (2) examine worldwide variation in vaccination intentions. This cross-s...
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The motivational theory of role modeling proposes motivational processes as critical mechanisms through which attainable role models can increase role aspirants' adoption of more ambitious goals. We conducted four studies to empirically test this proposition with role aspirants and their role models in field and experimental settings (total N = 2,1...
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Tightening social norms is thought to be adaptive for dealing with collective threat yet it may have negative consequences for increasing prejudice. The present research investigated the role of desire for cultural tightness, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, in increasing negative attitudes towards immigrants. We used participant-level data from...
Preprint
A popular form of ‘neoliberal feminism’ promotes women’s resilience as individuals to advance gender equality in leadership and beyond (Rottenberg, 2014). Ostensibly inspiring, this focus can increase beliefs that women, rather than inequitable social structures, are to blame for ongoing inequality (Kim et al., 2018). In this research, we examine a...
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Recent findings highlight two facets of the two fundamental stereotype content dimensions of agency (i.e., ‘dominance’ and ‘competence’) and communality (i.e., ‘morality’ and ‘sociability’; e.g., Abele et al., 2016) with implications for understanding gender inequality in the workplace (e.g., Prati et al., 2019). Extending this research and contrib...
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Google Docs is a widely used online word processing software. We suggest that despite its broad popularity in business and education, Google Docs is underutilised as a tool to facilitate qualitative interviews within research. In this paper we reflect on our experiences as two doctoral researchers using Google Docs to conduct synchronous, online, w...
Article
Women's lower career advancement relative to men is sometimes explained by internal factors such as women's lower willingness to make sacrifices for their career, and sometimes by external barriers such as discrimination. In the current research, positing a dynamic interplay between internal and external factors, we empirically test how external wo...
Preprint
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Men’s association with leadership is assumed to rest on stereotypes of men as more Agentic (strong, decisive, competent) and less Communal (helpful, kind, friendly) than women. Yet shortcomings in theory, measurement and analyses have obscured the nature of this bias. We use an expanded Power-Benevolence theoretical framework of stereotype content...
Article
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Organizations and other groups often recognize the importance of members treating each other in a fair (dignified, unbiased) manner. This type of treatment is key to fostering individuals’ sense of belonging in the group. However, while a sense of belonging is important, individuals also need to be shown that they have some distinct value to the gr...
Article
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This paper examines whether compliance with COVID-19 mitigation measures is motivated by wanting to save lives or save the economy (or both), and which implications this carries to fight the pandemic. National representative samples were collected from 24 countries (N = 25,435). The main predictors were (1) perceived risk to contract coronavirus, (...
Article
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Precarious manhood beliefs portray manhood, relative to womanhood, as a social status that is hard to earn, easy to lose, and proven via public action. Here, we present cross-cultural data on a brief measure of precarious manhood beliefs (the Precarious Manhood Beliefs scale [PMB]) that covaries meaningfully with other cross-culturally validated ge...
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We explore the relationship between academic employees’ attitudes to modern sexism and the #MeToo movement to better understand how interventions designed to address sexual harassment might be received in Danish academia. Using a survey of employees at a large Danish university (N = 1128), we categorized employees’ open answers about their attitude...
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The onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to progress toward gender equality and, instead, exacerbated existing gender inequalities across domains—from gendered divisions of labour to economic stability. In this paper we document some of the most glaring gender inequalities that have arisen in the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss how social...
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Men remain overrepresented in leadership positions, due in part to a think manager–think male (TMTM) association whereby stereotypes of men are more similar to stereotypes of manager than are stereotypes of women. Building on research into the motherhood penalty and fatherhood advantage, we extend Schein's TMTM paradigm to investigate whether paren...
Article
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The impostor "syndrome" refers to the notion that some individuals feel as if they ended up in esteemed roles and positions not because of their competencies, but because of some oversight or stroke of luck. Such individuals therefore feel like frauds or "impostors." Despite the fact that impostor feelings are often linked to marginalized groups in...
Preprint
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In this work, we study how social contacts and feelings of solidarity shape experiences of loneliness during the COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020. We draw on cross-national data, collected across four time points between mid-March until early May 2020. We situate our work within the public debate on these issues and discuss to what extent the public...
Preprint
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The Coronavirus is highly infectious and potentially deadly. In the absence of a cure or a vaccine, the infection prevention behaviors recommended by the World Health Organization constitute the only measure that is presently available to combat the pandemic. The unprecedented impact of this pandemic calls for swift identification of factors most i...
Preprint
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According to health behavior theories, perceived vulnerability to a health threat and perceived effectiveness of recommended health-protective behaviors determine motivation to follow these recommendations. Because the U.S. President Trump and U.S. conservative politicians downplayed the risk and seriousness of contracting COVID-19 and the effectiv...
Article
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The PsyCorona collaboration is a research project to examine processes involved in the COVID-19 pandemic, such as behavior that curbs virus transmission, which may implicate social norms, cooperation, and self-regulation. The study also examines psychosocial consequences of physical distancing strategies and societal lockdown, such as frustration o...
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Women’s concerns about work–life balance are cited as a key factor underlying their continued underrepresentation in particular domains and roles. This gendered pattern is often attributed to factors in the home, such as women’s disproportionate share of domestic work and childcare responsibilities. We offer an additional explanation that focuses o...
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Women and members of other underrepresented groups who break through the glass ceiling often find themselves in precarious leadership positions, a phenomenon that has been termed the glass cliff. The glass cliff has been investigated in a range of domains using various methodologies, but evidence is mixed. In 3 meta-analyses, we examined (a) archiv...
Article
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Mapping the Moods of COVID-19: Global Study Uses Data Visualization to Track Psychological Responses, Identify Targets for Intervention
Preprint
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This paper examines whether compliance with COVID-19 mitigation measures is motivated by wanting to save lives or save the economy (or both), and which implications this carries to fight the pandemic. National representative samples were collected from 24 countries (N=25,435). The main predictors were (i) perceived risk to contract coronavirus, (ii...
Article
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In the Western world, gender has traditionally been viewed in the Western world as binary and as following directly from biological sex. This view is slowly changing among both experts and the general public, a change that has been met with strong opposition. In this article, we explore the psychological processes underlying these dynamics. Drawing...
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Situated within workplace equality and discrimination scholarship, this paper focuses on intersectional identity narratives. We seek to better understand the workplace experiences of British Black, Asian, and minority ethnicity (BAME) professional women, and how these experiences impact on a range of wellbeing outcomes. The absence of research rela...
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In this paper, we develop and validate the 16‐item Support for Gender Equality among Men Scale (SGEMS) across four studies. Drawing on exploratory (Study 1, n = 322) and confirmatory (Study 2, n = 358; Study 4, n = 192) factor analysis, we determine a two‐factor structure: public and domestic support for gender equality. In Study 3 (n = 146) and St...
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The #MeToo movement has highlighted the widespread problem of men’s sexual harassment of women. Women are typically reluctant to make a sexual-harassment complaint and often encounter victim-blaming attitudes when they do, especially from men. Informed by the social identity perspective, two experiments examined the influence of empathy—both for wo...
Article
Working mothers often experience guilt when balancing work and family responsibilities. We examined consequences of work-family guilt with an interview study (N = 28) and daily diary study (N = 123). The interview study revealed that as a result of work-family guilt, parents tended to either reappraise the situation (e.g., emphasizing financial imp...
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We designed this study to measure the degree of backlash a specific Danish university would encounter in response to gender equity interventions. To capture this resistance we used two standardized questionnaires: the Modern Sexism Scale, which measures explicit denial of gender discrimination and resentment towards gender equity demands (such as g...
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This paper examined the existence of gender differences in the degree to which leaders’ perceptions of successor potential is influenced by interpersonal fit. In Study 1 (N = 97 leaders, N = 280 followers), multi-source field data revealed that for male leaders, ratings of followers’ potential as successors were positively related to interpersonal...
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Despite many positive changes in terms of gender equality in recent decades, women remain underrepresented in positions of power and prestige, and continue to shoulder disproportionate amounts of unpaid domestic labor. This special issue brings together an examination of the different ways in which gender inequality can be addressed, the efficacy o...
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A quarter of a century ago, philosopher Judith Butler (1990) called upon society to create “gender trouble” by disrupting the binary view of sex, gender, and sexuality. She argued that gender, rather than being an essential quality following from biological sex, or an inherent identity, is an act which grows out of, reinforces, and is reinforced by...
Article
In the present research we report results from two experimental studies that examine how feedback about leadership potential impacts leadership ambition, organizational commitment, and performance. Study 1 used an experimental vignette methodology that controls for prior performance. Results show that individuals who receive feedback that they have...
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More and more countries are adopting quotas to increase group-based equality in the boardroom and the political sphere. Nevertheless, affirmative action in general and quotas in particular remain a highly controversial subject—eliciting negative reactions from privileged groups, while support among minority and lower-status groups is generally high...
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Gender (in)equality is typically studied as a women’s issue to be addressed via systemic measures (e.g., government policy). As such, research focusing on mobilising men (and women) towards achieving gender equality is rare. In contrast, this paper examines the mobilisation of both men and women towards gender equality as common cause. Experiment 1...
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We investigated whether risk-taking measures inadvertently focus on behaviors that are more normative for men, resulting in the overestimation of gender differences. Using a popular measure of risk-taking (Domain-Specific Risk-Taking) in Study 1 (N = 99), we found that conventionally used behaviors were more normative for men, while, overall, newly...
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A growing body of research points to the value of multiple group memberships for individual well-being. However, much of this work considers group memberships very broadly and in terms of number alone. We conducted two correlational studies exploring how the relationship between multiple group membership and well-being is shaped by (a) the complexi...
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The present research examines the extent to which the recognition of creative performance is structured by social group membership. It does this by analysing the award of merit prizes for Best Actor and Actress in a Leading Role for the international award of US-based Oscars and British-based BAFTAs since BAFTA's inception of this category in 1968....
Chapter
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http://business.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190224851.001.0001/acrefore-9780190224851-e-42 A wealth of research has previously shown that gender stereotypes and discrimination keep women from climbing the corporate ladder. However, women who break through this “glass ceiling” are likely to face new barriers. Research on the glass cliff...
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of recent findings showing that stereotypical gendered beliefs about leadership underlie the glass cliff phenomenon. We summarise a series of studies demonstrating that the availability of social resources (i.e., social support from higher management and relevant stakeholders) during an organisational crisis impact...
Article
The glass cliff refers to the tendency for women to be more likely than men to be appointed to leadership positions that are risky and precarious. This paper reviews the first decade of research into the phenomenon and has three key aims: (a) to summarize and integrate evidence of the glass cliff, (b) to clarify the processes that have been shown t...
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Role models are often suggested as a way of motivating individuals to set and achieve ambitious goals, especially for members of stigmatized groups in achievement settings. Yet, the literature on role models tends not to draw on the motivational literature to explain how role models may help role aspirants achieve these outcomes. In this paper, we...
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A growing body of research in the field of health and social care indicates that the quality of the relationship between the person giving care and the person receiving it contributes significantly to the motivation and well-being of both. This paper examines how care workers' motivation is shaped by their social and relational identification at wo...
Chapter
Women’s representation in senior leadership positions continues to be significantly lower than that of men, however, a small proportion of women do manage to break through the glass ceiling. This research summary provides a review of research into the glass cliff phenomenon whereby women who do break through the glass ceiling disproportionally occu...
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Research into the glass cliff indicates that adverse company circumstances, compared to favorable ones, increase the likelihood of women to be appointed in leadership positions. Study 1 refined the conditions under which a glass cliff occurs by demonstrating a preference for a female leader when a company's performance was attributed to past leader...
Article
Women have made substantial inroads into some traditionally masculine occupations (e.g., accounting, journalism) but not into others (e.g., military, surgery). Evidence suggests the latter group of occupations is characterized by hyper-masculine 'macho' stereotypes that are especially disadvantageous to women. Here, we explore whether such macho oc...
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Although nearly two decades of research have provided support for the social identity approach to leadership, most previous work has focused on leaders' identity prototypicality while neglecting the assessment of other equally important dimensions of social identity management. However, recent theoretical developments have argued that in order to m...
Article
Purpose: The current research investigates how adults with cerebral palsy construct their personal and social identities in the face of stigma when support seeking, and considers the dilemmas they might face when doing so. Method: Participants were 28 adults with cerebral palsy who completed an online survey reporting on their identity as a pers...
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Kim Peters and Michelle Ryan argue that macho surgeon stereotypes lie at the heart of women’s relative lack of interest in a career in surgery and need to be changed if future skills shortages are to be avoided