Leadership perceptions, gender, and dominant personality: The role of normality evaluations

Jun Yeob Kim, Ning Hsu, Daniel A. Newman, P. D. Harms, Dustin Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Individuals with dominant personality tend to be perceived as leaders, but theory suggests the dominance advantage for leadership might depend upon gender. Role congruity theory (Eagly & Karau, 2002) holds that gender role-incongruence (i.e., dominant personality traits among women) can be a liability, which we propose produces a dominance-gender interaction effect on leadership perceptions. We extend this theory by proposing and testing a novel conceptual mediator of the role congruity effect—perceived normality. Results show dominance predicts perceived transformational leadership, but only for men. This role congruity interaction effect is then explained by perceived normality (mediated moderation). The conditional indirect effect of dominance on leadership through perceived normality is positive for men, but negative for women—consistent with role congruity theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103984
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Dominance
  • Gender
  • Leadership
  • Mediated moderation
  • Perceived normality
  • Role congruity theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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