Does Anger Expression Help Attorneys in Court? Perceptions of Angry Male and Female Attorneys
The objective of this study is to determine if female attorneys are penalized for expressing anger, while male attorneys gain influence when they express anger. I hypothesized that angry male attorneys would be perceived as having more positive traits and less negative traits than calm male attorney. In contrast, I hypothesized that angry female attorneys would be perceived as having more negative traits and less positive traits than calm female attorneys. I hypothesized that, as a result, participants would be more likely to hire the angry male attorney than the calm male attorney, while they would be less likely to hire the angry female attorney than the calm female attorney. After having participants view a video of attorneys giving closing arguments, whether it be angry or calm, male or female and having them answer questions, I found that both attorneys were characterized as having both more positive and negative traits than calm attorneys—regardless of their gender. In regards to the likelihood of being hired, I found that angry male attorneys were more likely to be hired than calm male attorneys. In contrast, angry female attorneys were less likely to be hired than calm female attorneys. Thus, although participants found both male and female angry (versus calm) attorneys high on negative and positive characteristics, they were more likely to hire the angry (versus calm) male attorney, which is consistent with previous research showing men are seen as more competent when expressing anger. These data suggest that there might be a systematic bias against women who try to exert influence in the courtroom by expressing anger.
- Reyes, Rosa Natalie (Author)
- Salerno, Jessica (Thesis director)
- Neal, Tess (Committee member)
- School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (Contributor)
- School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies (Contributor)
- Barrett, The Honors College (Contributor)