Boys, don't cry: Gender and reactions to negative performance feedback

Daphna Motro, Aleksander P.J. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our experiment is aimed at understanding how employee reactions to negative feedback are received by the feedback provider and how employee gender may play a role in the process. We focus specifically on the act of crying and, based on role congruity theory, argue that a male employee crying in response to negative performance feedback will be seen as atypical behavior by the feedback provider, which will bias evaluations of the employee on a number of different outcome variables, including performance evaluations, assessments of leadership capability, and written recommendations. That is, we expect an interactive effect between gender and crying on our outcomes, an effect that will be mediated by perceived typicality. We find support for our moderated mediation model in a sample of 169 adults, indicating that men who cry in response to negative performance feedback will experience biased evaluations from the feedback provider. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-235
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume102
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Keywords

  • Crying
  • Feedback
  • Gender
  • Performance appraisal
  • Role congruity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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