GoodCall, a website that covers higher education, turns to Olin’s Markus Baer for his comments on the topic of creativity gender bias which is a special focus of his research.
“According to Markus Baer, PhD, associate professor of organizational behavior at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, there are two primary reasons why gender stereotypes are so pronounced when people judge creativity. “First, people have a romantic view of creativity. The creative person is often considered to be the lone artist or inventor toiling away in isolation and against all odds trying to create the next big idea.” Although, Baer says this romantic view is far from being accurate, it continues to persist.
He also says that the very idea of judging creativity is inherently tricky because it is difficult to assess the creativeness and useful of an idea. “Whether or not something is useful can often only be determined post hoc and so there is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to judging creativity.”
GoodCall quotes Prof. Baer in a report on new research from Duke University that finds “women think men are more creative.”
“Recent research reveals that both males and females have a tendency to rate men as more creative than women. A series of studies by Duke University researchers examining gender bias and creativity found that women were consistently ranked less creative than their male peers.”
Image: by Michael Caven, artist painting a portrait on the street outside Eaton Centre in Toronto, Canada; Flikr, Creative Commons