Alice Eagly

James Padilla Chair of Arts and Sciences | Professor of Psychology


Alice Eagly is a social psychologist who has published widely on the psychology of attitudes, especially attitude change and attitude structure. In both of these areas, she has carried out primary research and meta-analyses of research literature. She is the author of Sex Differences in Social Behavior: A Social Role Interpretation, The Psychology of Attitudes with co-author Shelly Chaiken, and Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders with co-author Linda L. Carli. Eagly also is the author of numerous journal articles and chapters in her research specialties.

Previously, she taught at Michigan State University, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Purdue University. She has served as president of the Midwestern Psychological Association, president of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, chair of the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association, and chair of the Executive Committee of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology.

She has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association and the Gold Medal from the American Psychological Foundation Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology, Interamerican Psychologist Award for contributions to psychology as a science and profession in the Americas; and the Carolyn Wood Sherif Award for contributions to the psychology of women as scholar, mentor, teacher, and leader. She was also awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Bern in Switzerland.

Current Research

Women and Leadership. Eagly's book on gender and leadership, Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders, was published in 2007 by Harvard Business School Press. Some of her findings appear in a 2007 article in Psychology of Women Quarterly, "Female leadership advantage and disadvantage: Resolving the contradictions" and a 2002 article in Psychological Review, "Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders," co-authored with Steven Karau at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. In a continuation of this work, she recently published a meta-analysis on stereotypes of leaders that focuses on the extent to which leadership roles are perceived in feminine or masculine terms and on differences in these perceptions between nations and across time periods.

Stereotype Content. Another current project examines the content of stereotypes about social groups. This research tests the theory that stereotype content emerges from the characteristics of the social roles that are commonly occupied by members of social groups.

Feminism and Psychology. Another emphasis of Eagly’s work is examining the relation between feminism and psychology, in particular the emergence of a large, diverse field of research pertaining to gender and women. She has explored the content and dissemination of this research and also initiated study of how feminist methodological and epistemological critiques of psychology may be reflected in this research.Sshe recently published an article on the relation between feminism and the content of Psychological Science.

Selected Publications

Eagly, A., A. Eaton, S. Rose, S. Riger, and M. McHugh. 2012. Feminism and psychology: Analysis of a half-century of research on women and gender. American Psychologist 67: 211–30.

Eagly, A., and W. Wood. 2012. Social role theory. In Handbook of Theories in Social Psychology ed. P. van Lange, A. Kruglanski, and E.T. Higgins, 458–76. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Eagly, A., and W. Wood. 2011. Feminism and the evolution of sex differences and similarities. Sex Roles 64(9–10): 758–67.

Carli, L., and A. Eagly. 2011. Gender and leadership. In The Sage Handbook of Leadership, ed. A. Bryman, D. Collinson, K. Grint, B. Jackson, and M. Uhl Bien, 269–85. London: Sage Publications.

Koenig, A., A. Eagly, A. Mitchell, and T. Ristikari. 2011. Are leader stereotypes masculine? A meta-analysis of three research paradigms. Psychological Bulletin 137(4): 616–42.