University of Kentucky

Poster Title

Personality Traits and Occupations Stereotypically Perceived as Masculine or Feminine

Institution

University of Kentucky

Abstract

Previous research has found that certain personality traits and occupations are stereotypically perceived as either masculine or feminine. However, individuals with stereotype-inconsistent traits lead perceivers to utilize more individuating information to categorize a target. The study used a 2X2X2 (occupation X gender traits X order of presentation) independent factorial designs that explored how individuals utilized consistent and inconsistent stereotypic information when target gender is not explicitly provided. Participants read a description of an individual with either a “masculine” or “feminine” occupation (engineer or nurse), in addition to either masculine or feminine personality traits. Results showed that perception of the target’s gender was strongly influenced by occupation. The presence of masculine or feminine traits did not moderate this effect nor did the order of presentation of the information. Participants perceived the targets most competent when the stereotypical personality traits and occupations were consistent rather than inconsistent. Finally, participants were more likely to falsely recall stereotypical information when the character was described as feminine rather than when the character was described as masculine. These findings indicated that participants did not individuate the stereotype inconsistent targets more than the stereotype consistent targets. Other implications and limitations of the study are discussed.

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Personality Traits and Occupations Stereotypically Perceived as Masculine or Feminine

Previous research has found that certain personality traits and occupations are stereotypically perceived as either masculine or feminine. However, individuals with stereotype-inconsistent traits lead perceivers to utilize more individuating information to categorize a target. The study used a 2X2X2 (occupation X gender traits X order of presentation) independent factorial designs that explored how individuals utilized consistent and inconsistent stereotypic information when target gender is not explicitly provided. Participants read a description of an individual with either a “masculine” or “feminine” occupation (engineer or nurse), in addition to either masculine or feminine personality traits. Results showed that perception of the target’s gender was strongly influenced by occupation. The presence of masculine or feminine traits did not moderate this effect nor did the order of presentation of the information. Participants perceived the targets most competent when the stereotypical personality traits and occupations were consistent rather than inconsistent. Finally, participants were more likely to falsely recall stereotypical information when the character was described as feminine rather than when the character was described as masculine. These findings indicated that participants did not individuate the stereotype inconsistent targets more than the stereotype consistent targets. Other implications and limitations of the study are discussed.