Designing Symbolic Awards to Motivate Knowledge Workers in Gender-Typed Fields: Evidence from a Field Experiment at Wikipedia with Jana Gallus

October 29, 2015

Can symbolic awards motivate individuals to contribute their ideas and knowledge to a common project? Jana Gallus presents results from a large-scale natural field experiment at Wikipedia, exploring whether a purely symbolic award scheme can be used to motivate new editors and thus mitigate Wikipedia's editor retention problem. In a new project, she seeks to understand how awards have to be designed in order to enhance their recipients' self-confidence in gender-incongruent fields and encourage high-ability individuals to contribute their ideas. Speaker: Jana Gallus, Postdoctoral Fellow, Behavioral Insights Group, Harvard Kennedy School


The Girls of War in 1914 and 2014: The Evolution of the Protection Racket with Laura Sjoberg

October 22, 2015

How have gender roles in war changed over the last century? As women have openly joined militaries and paramilitary organizations, the roles of women in service have advanced and diversified. In the United States, the Combat Exclusion Policy was recently lifted to allow women to serve in frontline combat and complete combat operations. Despite increasing numbers of countries beginning to expand the role of women in their militaries, an analysis comparing the U.S. media coverage of British girls in World War I and the #BringBackOurGirls campaign in 2014 suggests that significations of girls as wars’ innocent, hapless victims in need of men’s protection remain prominent in media outlets. This seminar revisits Sue Rae Peterson’s (1977) idea of the ‘protection racket’ to analyze the current status of women in 21st century war and conflict. Speaker: Laura Sjoberg, WAPPP Fellow; Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Florida



Countering Counterstereotypicality: The Influence of Decision Contexts and Role Models on Women’s Risk Preference with Heidi Liu

October 8, 2015

Research on gender and risk taking indicates men have a greater tolerance for risk compared to women. This seminar explores the effects of gendered contextual cues on women’s risk preferences. Heidi Liu discuses experimental and archival data that finds women become more risk averse in masculine stereotypical realms in decision contexts. She shares analysis from an intervention tested to mitigate women’s risk aversion in masculine decision contexts: exposure to a counter-stereotypical role model (e.g., women succeeding in masculine-stereotypical performance domains). Speaker: Heidi Liu, Ph.D. Candidate in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; J.D. Candidate, Harvard Law School