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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gender and Group Decision-Making: Eliciting and Acting Upon Expertise

Katie Coffman, Assistant Professor, Ohio State University

From faculty committees and student projects to corporate boards and firms, many decisions are made by groups rather than by individuals. In these environments, the quality of the group decision depends upon the most knowledgeable members volunteering their opinions to the group. In this project, I use a lab experiment to explore the factors that predict an individual's decision to contribute her idea to the group. I find that gender stereotypes drive substantial inefficiencies in contribution. Women under-contribute ideas in stereotypically male domains, while men under-contribute ideas in stereotypically female domains. Furthermore, because of these patterns of under-contribution, groups often have difficultly recognizing their talent: female (male) experts in stereotypically male (female) domains are significantly less likely to be correctly identified as most knowledgeable within their group. Interventions aimed at reducing under-contribution by men and women are ineffective; in particular, providing feedback about members' relative strengths and weaknesses does not increase the likelihood that an expert contributes her opinion to the group.

Lunch will be provided.

An RSVP is not required as this is an open event.

  • Location:
    WAPPP Cason Seminar Room, Taubman Building, Room 102
  • Date:
    Thursday, October 31, 2013
  • Time:
    11:40 AM

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