Perceiving Women’s Anger in the Workplace: Does Racial Ethnicity or Occupational Rank Matter?

Open Access
Li, Yidi
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Stephanie A Shields, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Richard Alan Carlson, Honors Advisor
  • perceptions of women
  • workplace
  • professional women
  • anger
  • angry woman
  • emotional expression
  • stereotypes
  • intersectional
This study tested the hypothesis that Black and White women would encounter different social censures when they display anger in the workplace. Of additional interest was whether the status of the target would make any difference. Participants listened to an audio clip of a female employee being interviewed about her stress in the workplace and rated this employee on a variety of dimensions based on their impression. A 2 (race of target: Black vs. White) x 2 (emotion: anger vs. neutral) x 2 (status: high vs. low occupational rank) between-subjects design was employed by this study. Main effects of race on agenticism and hostility ratings indicated that regardless of emotion and status, participants perceived Black women as significantly more agentic, more hostile, and less warm and communal than white women. The two-way interaction between target’s race and emotion showed that Black women displaying anger were seen as the most agentic among others. Low status Black women were rated as the most agentic and hostile, whereas low status White women were rated as the most warm and communal. I conclude that intersectional approaches are required in order to fully understand gendered racial stereotypes of emotion. The impact of status on emotion associated with women’s anger in the workplace is also worth further investigation.