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A little bird told me…: Consequences of holding an implicit association between women and birds


European Journal of Social Psychology

Published online on


--- - |2 Abstract Past research has shown that humans possess implicit associations that, when activated, affect subsequent behavior. In three studies, we demonstrated a novel implicit association held by some men: an association between women and birds. Additionally, we demonstrated three consequences of possessing and activating a Women–Birds association. For those who strongly associated women and birds, activating the association caused an increase in dehumanization of women, perceptions of female incompetence, and sexist hiring decisions. Perceptions of female incompetence mediated the effect of Women–Birds implicit association activation on sexist hiring decisions. These findings provide insight into a potential cause of bias toward women that should be accounted for when attempting to reduce discrimination toward women and speak to the need for careful consideration when making analogies linking social groups to animals or objects. - European Journal of Social Psychology, EarlyView.