Edward H. Chang is a fifth-year PhD student in the Decision Processes group. His primary research interests include diversity, discrimination, and behavior change. Prior to graduate school, Edward worked as a data scientist for a variety of technology startups, and he graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy.
Abstract: We present results from a large (n = 3,016) field experiment at a global organization testing whether a brief science-based online diversity training can change attitudes and behaviors toward women in the workplace. Our preregistered field experiment included an active placebo control and measured participants’ attitudes and real workplace decisions up to 20 weeks postintervention. Among groups whose average untreated attitudes—whereas still supportive of women—were relatively less supportive of women than other groups, our diversity training successfully produced attitude change but not behavior change. On the other hand, our diversity training successfully generated some behavior change among groups whose average untreated attitudes were already strongly supportive of women before training. This paper extends our knowledge about the pathways to attitude and behavior change in the context of bias reduction. However, the results suggest that the one-off diversity trainings that are commonplace in organizations are unlikely to be stand-alone solutions for promoting equality in the workplace, particularly given their limited efficacy among those groups whose behaviors policymakers are most eager to influence.
Abstract: Across a field study and four experiments, we examine how social norms and scrutiny affect decisions about adding members of underrepresented populations (e.g., women, racial minorities) to groups. When groups are scrutinized, we theorize that decision makers strive to match the diversity observed in peer groups due to impression management concerns, thereby conforming to the descriptive social norm. We examine this first in the context of U.S. corporate boards, where firms face pressure to increase gender diversity. Analyses of S&P 1500 boards reveal that significantly more boards include exactly two women (the descriptive social norm) than would be expected by chance. This overrepresentation of two-women boards—a phenomenon we call “twokenism”—is more pronounced among more visible companies, consistent with our theorizing around impression management and scrutiny. Experimental data corroborate these findings and provide support for our theoretical mechanism: decision makers are discontinuously less likely to add a woman to a board once it includes two women (the social norm), and decision makers’ likelihood of adding a woman or minority to a group is influenced by the descriptive social norms and scrutiny faced. Together, these findings provide a new perspective on the persistent underrepresentation of women and minorities in organizations.
Paul R. Kleindorfer Scholar Award, 2018
Baker Retailing Center Grant, 2018–2020
Graduate Student Travel Award, Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 2018
Best Micro Paper, East Coast Doctoral Conference, 2017
Winkelman Fellowship, 2017–2020
Best Student Paper, Society for Judgment and Decision Making Conference, 2016
Marjorie Weiler Prize for Excellence in Writing, 2016
Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowship, 2016, 2017