Working Paper No. 1091

Does Gender Diversity Promote Non-Conformity?

Published: October 20, 2015Pages: 42Keywords: Conformity; Gender Differences; Group Composition; SkillJEL-codes: C90; D02; D71; D83; J16
Published version

Does Gender Diversity Promote Non-Conformity? Makan Amini, Mathias Ekström, Tore Ellingsen, Magnus Johannesson and Fredrik Strömsten


Failure to express minority views may distort the behavior of company boards, committees, juries, and other decision-making bodies. Devising a new experimental procedure to measure such conformity in a judgment task, we compare the degree of conformity in groups with varying gender composition. Overall, our experiments offer little evidence that gender composition affects expression of minority views. A robust finding is that a subject’s lack of ability predicts both a true propensity to accept others judgment (informational social influence) and a propensity to agree despite private doubt (normative social influence). Thus, as an antidote to conformity in our experiments, high individual ability seems more effective than group diversity.

Mathias Ekström

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mathias.ekstrom@ifn.se

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Social Capital and Health

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Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

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