Equal performance, different grade: Women’s performance in discussion perceived worse than men’s

Angela R. Dorrough*, Monika Leszczynska, Sandra Werner, Lovis Schaeffer, Anna-Sophie Galley, Enis Akin, Jacqueline Bachmann, Marius Bruske, Ulla Burghardt, Franziska Simandi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We investigate how men and women are evaluated in group discussions. In five studies (N = 761) using a variant of a Hidden Profile Task, we find that, when experimentally and/or statistically controlling for actual gender differences in behavior, the female performance in a group discussion is devalued in comparison to male performance. This was observed for fellow group members (Study 1) and outside observers (Studies 2–5), in both primarily student (Studies 1, 4, and 5) and mixed samples (Studies 2 and 3), for different measures of performance (perceived helpfulness of the contribution, for work-related competence), across different discussion formats (preformulated chat messages, open chat), and when controlling for the number of female group members (Study 5). In contrast to our hypothesis, we did not find a moderating effect of selection procedure in that women were devalued to a similar degree in both situations with a women’s quota and without.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0146167221992213
Pages (from-to)222-238
Number of pages17
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number2
Early online date23 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • discrimination
  • gender gap
  • group discussion
  • hidden profile task
  • women’s quota
  • women&#8217
  • s quota


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