From Big Bang to Big Gap? Potential Links Between Agency-Communion Orientation and Perception of Creativity in Computer Science

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Abstract

This study provides preliminary data on the dynamic role of participants’ agency-communion orientation in their perception of fictional students’ agency, communion and creativity, depending on descriptions of stereotypical and unstereotypical traits and behaviours. I propose that a stereotypically masculine description (i.e. more agentic) will boost the male’s - but not the female’s - perceived creativity. Polish students majoring in computer science (N = 108) read short stories about male and female interns at an IT company. Participants assessed the interns’ agency, communion and creativity. The results demonstrated that the image of the agentic man as well as the participants’ agentic-orientation are significant predictors of a male’s perceived creativity. The findings are discussed in terms of the gender-based nature of the agency-communion concept.

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