Thursday, September 12, 2013

Is Charisma Enough for Women? The Impact of Gender on Charismatic Influence

Dug Lee, Fielding's School of Psychology

The historical small body of gender-specific charisma studies indicates that women may be perceived as more charismatic than men (e.g., Groves, 2005), yet other study outcomes suggest that men have more influence than women (e.g., Haines & Kray, 2005). This study investigates the power disparity that may exist between the genders with the hypothesis that gender moderates the relationship between charisma and influence such that charismatic men demonstrate more influence than charismatic women. Participants were composed of 42 women and 46 men who each watched a video of a confederate (n = 10) whose goal was to influence the participants’ opinions about a topic. Confederates’ charisma and attractiveness levels were measured by raters. The hypothesis was not supported; however, this may have been due to design and sampling flaws. These findings indicate that the relationship between charisma, influence, and gender should be further explored to contribute to the body of knowledge regarding how women can attain more influential ability.

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