Pier Vittorio Mannucci (Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School) - Who paints the Big Eyes?

Who paints the Big Eyes? Creativity lay-theories and gender bias in creativity assessment.

  • Date: 24 November 2020 from 13:00 to 14:00

  • Event location: On line su piattaforma TEAMS

  • Access Details: Free admission subject to enrolment

The subjective nature of creativity assessment can result in bias and discrimination against certain social categories. In particular, recent research has shown that women-generated outcomes are assessed as more creative because people commonly associate creativity with “divergent thinking”, which is itself strongly associated with masculine traits.
While extremely widespread, however, the lay definition of creativity as “divergent thinking” is only one of many lay theories of creativity individuals might hold.
In this paper, we argue that if individuals do not frame creativity as divergent, they will not activate the link between “creativity” and “masculine” and they will thus exhibit a mitigated gender bias in creativity assessment.
Specifically, we hypothesize that individuals exhibit a stronger bias against women in terms of creativity assessment and rewards when they draw on a “divergent thinking” definition of creativity as compared to (a) when they are not constrained by a given definition but free to derive the clues of creativity by themselves;  and (b) when they are provided with a conceptualization different from divergent thinking.
We test and find confirmation for our hypotheses in a multimethod study employing meta-analytic techniques and experimental designs.
Pier Vittorio Mannucci is an assistant professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School. His research focuses on how creativity can be fostered in individuals and settings that are stereotypically depicted as less creative. His specific area of expertise centers on how individuals can be consistently creative over the career, and on the effects of social networks, technology, and culture on individual and team creativity.